A Canterbury farmer has appeared in court this morning accused of being behind a string of rural thefts and commercial and residential burglaries.

Matthew John Woods, 43, faces 25 theft, burglary, drugs, and driving charges.

He appeared from custody at Christchurch District Court this morning.

The court was told that Woods, of no fixed abode, wanted to represent himself.


The charges date back to July 3.

He was arrested last night and charged with assaulting a man during an alleged burglary in Canterbury.

Police allege that he then drove recklessly on Telegraph Rd west of Christchurch and failed to stop for police.

When officers spoke to Woods, it's alleged that they found methamphetamine and cannabis in his possession.

Woods faces a raft of other charges, including four burglaries of Christchurch homes in July and August.

Police allege that on or before August 22, Woods stole a Kubota Lifestyle tractor valued at $22,500 and a $32,900 ride-on front-facing Kubota lawnmower from a business in Timaru.

He also faces charges of burglaries at commercial premises in Timaru, Ashburton, and Rolleston over the past two months.

There are also ten charges of receiving stolen goods, including a $5000 car transporter trailer, a $3100 Hilti laser level, and trailer registration plates.

Judge John Strettell today remanded Woods in custody without plea until October 2 and advised him that it would be in his best interests to seek legal representation.