Car theft a case of birthday deja vu
Claire Chateau thought this year's birthday would be much better than last year.
But what could only be described as deja vu hit the unlucky Titirangi resident when she walked out of her home on Tuesday morning to discover her car had been stolen.
"My first thought was, of course it's on my birthday - is this some kind of joke someone is playing on me?"
But it wasn't a joke.
For the second year in a row - on her birthday - Chateau's car had been stolen, taken for a joyride and then dumped.
Last year, her car was stolen from Mt Albert while she was working and turned up two days later "completely destroyed".
And just this week, her car was taken from outside her home and driven down South Titirangi Rd and discarded at the boat ramp.
Thieves had driven the vehicle into the water and taken the battery resulting in it being a write-off.
"What I find frustrating is that they only went down the road," Chateau says.
"It's stupid that this is entertainment for them at the expense of others. It puts life in chaos."
The car was locked and parked outside her home.
Luckily Chateau is insured, however, she says for the second time the actions of thieves will cost her the insurance excess and a higher fee to insure her car.
It will be weeks before she can get a replacement vehicle.
The languages teacher works in Newmarket and is now resigned to catching buses and trains with the odd lift from friends.
Chateau says a silver lining that has appeared from the unfortunate predicament is the support from the Titirangi community.
She says as soon as she posted on the community's Facebook page, support in the way of food and transport offers came flooding in.
"This community is incredible, it's heartwarming to see how fast they respond."
But she says it's always a good lesson to remind people not to be negligent when it comes to vehicle security.
"Next year I'm going to sleep in my car on my birthday."