Police suspect the theft of a vehicle in rural Canterbury is the work of the fugitive William Stewart.
Mr Stewart has been on the run since February and is thought to be behind several car thefts and burglaries throughout the South Island province.
Senior Sergeant Stewart Munro says a four-wheel-drive was taken from a farm in the Staveley area, near Methven, early on Monday.
A vehicle Mr Stewart is suspected of having stolen in late April was left in a paddock across the road.
It is believed the Nissan Navara was stolen about 3am on Monday, but police were not alerted until just before 8am.
Mr Munro says police did not launch a search because the offender could have already travelled some distance.
The Nissan Navara is a 2003 green flat-deck with sides and registration plate OTIRA.