Thieves torch stolen car for fun
A CABARITA paramedic will be adding to his mounting post-Christmas debt after thieves stole and torched his car early yesterday morning.
Jesse Gray lost valuable equipment vital to his job and his young children’s car safety seats when his vehicle was “wastefully and pointlessly” stolen in the dead of night before being left smouldering in bushland near Hastings Point.
“Being just after Christmas I already have all this extra debt,” the 29-year-old said.
“I was already looking at tightening my budget for a few months to get rid of some of it but now I’m going to have to do something much more drastic.”
He had also recently cut back his hours of work to spend more time with his children, Harper, three, and Georgie, five.
Mr Gray found the burnt out 1994 model Subaru Liberty himself at about 10.30am yesterday.
“I don’t know what they would have gotten out of it. It’s wasteful and pointless destruction,” Mr Gray said.
“It was hard to tell because it was so badly burnt but I knew it was my car the second I saw it.
“It’s not enough to ruin my life but it’s still a pain in the neck.”
After notifying Tweed Heads Police of the missing car he went on an expedition with his two children around the Tweed Coast to look for it.
“I know cars being stolen and burnt out happens a lot in these areas so I thought I would go look for it myself,” Mr Gray said.
It was the chance sighting of his son’s flip-flop on the side of Tweed Coast Road that led Mr Gray to his burnt out vehicle.
“I pulled over and went to check it out. I recognised it as Harper’s because of the colour and the level of wear and tear on it,” Mr Gray said.
The discovery in Hastings Point soon took him down a dirt road into bushland where the car was left.
Thieves had stolen the vehicle sometime between midnight and 6am yesterday morning.
He was unsure if the vehicle was locked.
“I think everyone should be more vigilant and lock their cars every time. I hope people can learn from what happened to me.”
Mr Gray said he will be able to borrow his mother’s car for the week.
“I will be okay because I’ve got good support from my family, but some others would be at a complete disadvantage if this happened to them.
“I think I will be car shopping by the time the weekend gets here.”
Tweed Heads Police Inspector Darren Steel said cars being stolen and set alight is not a common crime in the shire.
“It happens but it’s not a frequent crime which occurs around here,” Insp Steel said.
“Most stolen vehicles are retrieved by police within 24 hours of the theft.”
Insp Steel recommended everyone utilise their car’s security features to the full extent.
“Most modern cars have facilities to disable them when they are parked,” he said.
“It’s also important to not leave the keys any where near or in the car.
“During the hotter months some people like to leave the car running when they run into the shops so the air con is still on when they get back in. It’s important not to do that.”