Tourists' stolen car found stripped

00:58, Jun 24 2014
French tourists
FAITH RESTORED: French tourists Loic Constans, middle, and Adrien Gelis after their 1996 Subaru car and their possessions were stolen from a supermarket carpark in Nelson. Left, Duncan MacFarlane, who helped them out in his car of the same model.

The car belonging to two French tourists Loic Constans and Adrien Gelis has been found near the Nelson Marina, but stripped of all the visitors' belongings.

Sergeant Natasha Rodley, of Nelson, said the Subaru Legacy car, stolen from a Nelson supermarket car park last Friday, had been found near the marina and that inquiries were continuing.

She said nothing further was found with the vehicle.

The car was taken from the car park at Countdown supermarket off Halifax St last Friday as the tourists were shopping, having made an unplanned detour to Nelson to drop off a French backpacker they had met on the ferry from Wellington to Picton.

The pair were left only with the clothes they were in, and passports and credits cards they took with them while shopping.

They have been staying with Nelson man Duncan MacFarlane who discovered their plight as he pulled into the carpark.


The pair said they were now thinking of finding work in Nelson, or continuing their aim to get to Christchurch to find work in the city rebuild. They arrived in Auckland in February on a year's working holiday visa.

Constans said today finding the car was "good and bad".

"It was good to find it, but to see it empty reminded us of the sad memories."

They had been less concerned about the car than getting back precious items such as iPads that contained their photos, plus the clothes they needed to stay warm.

He and Gelis now planned to sell the car to get the cash they needed to buy new clothes and equipment lost in the theft, but the car's ignition system had been damaged and they would need to repair that first.

The Nelson Mail