Christchurch police have arrested and charged a 28-year-old man in relation to a commercial burglary where four vehicles, including two classic cars, were stolen.

The man also faces separate charges of theft of a motor vehicle, receiving stolen property and unlawful interference with a motor vehicle relating to his involvement in other recent vehicle thefts.

The man appeared in the Christchurch District Court today and was remanded in custody.

In the past week police have recovered a number of recently stolen vehicles taken from the greater Christchurch area.


Police tactical crime manager Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Joel Syme said forensic examinations were being done and officers were following a number of lines of enquiry.

Further arrests and charges were likely in the near future.

Syme said that although the police were pleased to have a priority offender in custody, the tactical crime team was still following other leads in relation to recent vehicle thefts.

"I urge members of the community to report any suspicious activity they see around vehicles to give Police the best chance of catching these offenders."

The police announcement of the charges against the 28-year-old man comes after a Christchurch car dealer, Christopher Schwartz, told of city businesses being hit by car thieves. He believes an organised gang is at work.

"They're stealing cars, thieving number-plates off other legitimate vehicles and putting them on their stolen cars so they're not seen as stolen in the eyes of the public when up the road."

Schwartz believed some stolen cars were being broken up into parts for sale.

Syme said people with information about car thefts could pass this anonymously to the police at 0800 555 111 or by phoning their local police station.