Three German tourists say they have become unintentional vehicle thieves through a quirk of backpacker culture.
The tourists said they thought they were allowed to take a van left at Christchurch Airport with the keys in the driver's door as they had been told that backpackers sometimes left vehicles they could not sell at airports for other backpackers to take.Then I thought a bit more and remembered a trip to the UK with my father over 40 years ago. He'd bought a barely roadworthy car for getting around in and late in the trip the question of how we would get rid of it came up. Before he found a wreckers who would accept it, he seriously considered simply gifting it to an incoming tourist at the airport. I can't remember if he mentioned that he knew of some place where this was expected or if he was just blowing off steam.
More at Stuff.co.nz
It sounds like backpackers are now a bit more organised.
I hope this conviction doesn't overly harm the futures of these 3 young Germans.
Obviously I didn't hear the full story, but from what I read in Stuff, I would have given them the benefit of the doubt.