After a "very frustrating" week for Auckland swimmer Marina Macartney - who had her valuable surf lifesaving gear stolen - she finally has something small to celebrate this afternoon.

The 24-year-old went to Avondale Police Station today and was able to recover about half of her stolen swimming equipment and personal items.

The surf lifesaving competitor was devastated after having not only her gear taken, but also property of her mother and sister, who she had just returned from Australia with last Monday.

The trio had just landed after being in the Gold Coast where Miss Macartney won a silver medal at the Surf Lifesaving Australia Pool Rescue Championship.


They were out having a celebratory dinner at One Tree Grill when her mother's vehicle was broken into between 8pm and 10pm on Pah Rd, Epsom.

Three bags, with more than 30 items, were stolen containing her prized Waterway lifesaving speed fins, her Speedo swim suit, goggles, along with her mother's handbag, cell phone and Panasonic camera containing precious holiday snaps.

Police contacted her on Friday to say they had arrested a man over the break-in of her mother's car. A search of the man's home had uncovered some of the stolen items.

Miss Macartney told the Herald this afternoon that while it was a relief to get some of these items back, she still found it "so strange" that somebody would steal equipment used to rescue people.

"It's just a shame that you've got people stealing stuff like that.

"It's the weirdest thing, you're trying to do something for the community with your lifeguarding, and then somebody goes and takes gear away that's useless for them, but so important to you."

However her custom made fins - one of only six pairs in New Zealand and which weigh 2kg each - are still missing and so is her mother's camera, phone and handbag.

While some of her togs, racing suits and goggles were left behind in the house and recovered, others were taken.


Her headphones were also retrieved by police, but the cords from them are missing. So were a lot of her clothes.

They may have been on-sold or given away by now, Miss Macartney said.

"I feel a bit violated because, I mean, it's your private property...and a little bit disturbing that someone's obviously got your clothes."

She still has hope that her fins will turn up somewhere, and asked members of the public to keep an eye out for them online or at the pools or beach.

She will have help from the surf lifesaving community with this, she said.

"Everyone in surf lifesaving knows what they look like anyway - they all know that there's only a handful of us that have them, so they definitely are all on the lookout too."


Police went back to the house to double check for the fins this morning, but had no luck.

Miss Macartney said they would be useless to anyone else as they were made specifically for her feet and were very uncomfortable.

"They're the most uncomfortable things you could ever wear, they're horrendous ... you only wear them in a training session for 200 metres cos they just kill your thighs and your ankles, but they're so fast. When you first start wearing them and finish a race your legs are like jelly."

She has upcoming events next month and nationals in October, and will have to use an old pair of fins until she can afford a new custom-made pair - valued at about $800.

Miss Macartney had not had any luck searching social media, Trade Me or other buy and sell pages for the gear until of the officers involved in Friday's search read about her plight in Thursday's Herald and recognised the stolen property straight away.

"He'd just read it on Thursday night and they did the raid on Friday so that was really good."