A family of British and Irish Lions supporters will be reunited with backpacks stolen from them from a car park in Auckland during their New Zealand trip.

The Leighton family is on a six-month round the world trip and the children had been writing a journal and collating a scrapbook of their travels. The precious items were stolen when their backpacks were taken from their car in Auckland earlier this month.

Now in the US, the family has been contacted by Auckland police to inform them that the backpacks had been returned this week.

A few items, including father Max Leighton's camera, have not been found, but the family is happy to have their children's precious memories back.


Max and Maria Leighton travelled to New Zealand with their children Xander, 10, and Scarlett, 8, to follow the Lions.

The family found their rental car vandalised in an Auckland carpark earlier in July. Their belongings were missing, there were faeces beside the vehicle and a mess of food had been left all over the car.

The Leightons left New Zealand with little hope of ever seeing their belongings but have now been given the good news that the children's backpacks are on their way to them.

The theft is still being investigated by police.