A Queenstowner is making a heartfelt plea to get her dead sister’s hiking boots back.
Alexandra Timoshenko says the black Raichle Mountain Trail XT GTX boots were pinched from her van sometime between November and two weeks ago.
She hopes locals can shed light on the disappearance.
They are one of only a few items she has to remember sister Erika, who tragically passed away during a hiking accident in Norway last July.
“These are irreplaceable,” Canadian Timoshenko says.
“A dead person has a finite amount of things left over. She was a traveller and a hiker, everything had a specific purpose to her, her life condensed.
“It adds to the value of the boots. They were the ones she walked the earth with.
“Hiking and camping – they are the connection with her body and the things she loved the most.
“That is the biggest value.”
The red Ford van, which had broken down and had no warrant or rego, was parked in Fernhill temporarily.
It was ticketed and then considered abandoned, and towed to a council compound.
Timoshenko, who thought her boots were at home, only discovered they were stolen from the van as she was preparing to walk the Kepler Track.
Also gone were her partner Matthew Trnka’s hiking shoes and a mattress.
“We left it in the middle of nowhere because it was broken down, we had planned to sell it.
“I know it is a nuisance for people. I know we shouldn’t have abandoned it and I am not surprised stuff was taken.”
However, the 26-year-old is keeping her fingers crossed someone may have spotted the thieves – or know if the van was broken into before it was impounded.
City Hall’s chief enforcement bod Anthony Hall confirms the van was issued an infringement notice on November 9 as standard practice. He can’t confirm if the boots were inside when the van was impounded.
While he sympathises with Timoshenko’s situation, he stresses vehicles can’t just be abandoned willy-nilly.
“The community really don’t like this behaviour and it is becoming quite common in Queenstown.”