Christchurch rebuild worker gutted by theft

CAROLINE KING
Last updated 05:00 12/02/2013
Tiler Luke Smith
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ

BACK IN ACTION: Tiler Luke Smith at work with borrowed gear after losing all his tools when his ute was stolen three days after he arrived in Christchurch.

Luke Smith
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ
Luke Smith

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Three days after arriving in Christchurch to help with the rebuild, Luke Smith lost almost everything he owned.

The 27-year-old tiler's utility vehicle was stolen from outside his friend's house in Barbour St, Waltham, on Saturday night. All his belongings were in the back.

Smith could not believe it when he walked outside on Sunday morning and found the ute was gone.

"I was like, ‘I'm sure I parked my ute there'. Then I felt sick inside. It was just the worst feeling ever. My world came crashing down around me," he said.

"Pretty much my whole life was in the back of that ute - everything I needed to set up down here. I had a little cry, I must admit."

Smith said he lost clothing and tools worth about $5000, but most had sentimental value because they were given to him by his father.

"They're no good to anybody else, apart from a tiler. They're specialist tools," he said.

Smith turned up for his first day at work yesterday with no equipment.

He said the theft had made him question if he made the right decision to move to Christchurch, leaving his three young children in Tauranga.

Anyone with information on a white four-seater Nissan Navara ute, RU5249, call police on 363 7400.

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