Two French tourists have admitted stealing nine books and two historic maps worth about $15,000 from a public library in Christchurch.
In Queenstown District Court yesterday, Ilane Elie Benazra, 22, and Guillaume Ferdinand Pringault, 22, admitted theft by a person in a special relationship between May 17 and 20.
They were convicted and fined $500 each, and ordered to pay $7143 reparation.
Prosecuting Sergeant Ian Collin said both men were working for a contractor in Christchurch when they removed the books and the maps.
“They concealed the items in their backpacks and didn’t have the authority or permission [to take them].
“[They] left some of the books in their vehicle with the window down causing [them] to be open to the elements.
“Five books and the maps sustained water damage.”
Defence counsel Keith Newell said the men were both from Paris and in New Zealand on a working holiday.
“They borrowed the books. Some of the books were actually in French … Unfortunately they didn’t look after them. They didn’t have any authority to remove them. They accept that.”