American Twins Adam and Alex Rahmlow, 21 have lost most of their possessions to a down and out hitchhiker they picked up in the Christchurch suburb of Amberley.
The Rahmlows had befriended the man, who said he was from Auckland, and had supported him over a three day period whilst they stayed at a campsite.
The hitchhiker, known as "Rusty" aka "James" stole the brother's car, passports, credit cards and other belongings including irreplaceable networking information the two had gathered travelling on a 6 month trip through Asia, which included a three month stint with the US Peace Corps in Vanuatu.
Adam and Alex are from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Are they eligible for a refund under the "New Zealand Life Back Promise" currently being advertised in the states?
The US Department Of State currently has the following statement about New Zealand on its International Travel page:
"Crime rates in New Zealand are low but have increased in recent years. The most prevalent crime is theft or attempted theft from cars, camper vans and hostels. To help protect against theft, do not leave passports or other valuable items in unattended vehicles. Violent crime against tourists is unusual; however, visitors who are traveling alone should be especially vigilant, and avoid isolated areas that are not frequented by the public. "
See also: "Tourism"