Nelson police are investigating the theft of meat from a butcher who, they say, has had more than his fair share of bad luck.
Thousands of dollars worth of ham, salami and steak was taken from the Wakatu Estate store during the weekend.
German butcher Ulrich Heck told Checkpoint 1200-1400kg of meat had been taken.
"Hopefully we find someone who gets offered the meat or the ham - especially the salamis, which were in special casings which I imported from Germany," he said.
"They are with Santa Claus on it and stuff like that - I'm the only one in the country to offer that."
Sergeant Craig Barker said the thieves would have needed a large van or truck to remove the goods, some of which had distinctive, Christmas-themed wrappers.
Mr Barker said the theft was a harsh blow for Mr Heck, who moved to Nelson from Christchurch, after his business was hit twice by earthquakes.
His Nelson premises were then damaged after a neighbouring building caught alight.
"I'm hoping that someone with a conscience will be offered a cheap ham or salami and put two and two together. This really is a low blow," Mr Barker said.
Police wanted to speak to anyone who had been offered meat or small goods for sale and anyone who had information which could help identify the offenders.