Hunters in the Canterbury area are returning from the bush to find their cars have been broken into and trashed following a spate of break-ins.

The rise in car thefts has prompted recreational and outdoors website Points South to offer a reward to anyone who provides information that leads to the culprits being prosecuted.

Ryan Hart returned from a four-day deer-hunting trip at Arthur's Pass on Friday afternoon to find tents, wallets and spare changes of clothes been taken from his 4WD.

He posted on Facebook "... came out of the bush to this today. Even stole my bloody seats ... Be mindful of what you keep in your trucks this time of year fellas we lost a bit of gear!"


Thieves had stolen the front seats, spare mud tyre and parts of the dashboard from his 1994 Toyota Hilux.

#REWARD for information. It seems Canterbury has some lowlife/s ripping off hunters vehicles. Lewis Pass, Arthur's...

Posted by PointsSouth on Saturday, 7 April 2018

The Christchurch man estimated about $3000 worth of damage had been done to his car and another $3000 worth of goods had been stolen while it was parked in the Cass Saddle car park.

The thieves took Hart's and his two mates' wallets but left their cards behind in a tied-up plastic bag. There were also other cards in the bag from a tramper whose ute had been targeted at the same time.

The innersoles from one of the three pairs of gumboots in the 4WD had also been taken.

"It was bloody weird," Hart said.

That tramper had the carpet stripped from his ute and some of the wiring from his engine stolen.

Another hunter posted on social media that he had the front and rear bumpers ripped from his truck.

Cam McKay, director of Points South, said he was aware of at least four hunters, mainly in the Lewis Pass and Arthur's Pass, returning to their vehicles to find they had been emptied out and trashed.


McKay is offering a reward of a new puffer jacket to anyone who comes forward with information that leads to the culprits being prosecuted.

"I was just seeing numerous posts about cars getting ripped off in the Canterbury area so I thought why not spread the word a bit. From what I've heard it's Arthur's Pass, Lewis Pass and a few dodgy happenings around Rakaia."

Hunters were even discussing putting trail cameras on their cars as a deterrent.

"It's a good idea, but I guess it's kind of sad it comes to that," he said.

Police have been contacted for comment.