Truckie ‘ecstatic’ after stolen van recovered intact

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grey nomad gets caravan back after theft from storage yard
Neil Gauslaa was devastated when thieves cut a padlock and stole his caravan. PIC Mike Batterham/Gold Coast Bulletin

It’s not all that often that a story about a stolen caravan has a happy ending … but this one does!

Late last week, we reported that Gold Coast resident Neil Gauslaa had been left in despair after  his 22’ Jayco Silverline Outback was stolen from a storage yard in Nerang.

The truck driver admitted that he had been guilty of ‘under-insuring’ the $90,000 van and feared it would set back his retirement plans by five years or more.

However, after receiving a phone call from police to say his pride and joy had been found, his Big Lap dreams are well and truly back on track.

The caravan was spotted near a bush at an unoccupied home that was being inspected by a real estate agent. It was just five kilometres from the storage yard from which it had been taken.

The Gold Coast Bulletin reports that all of Mr Gauslaa’s personal belongings and camping gear were still inside the van.

“They didn’t get inside, there’s minimal damage — it’s unbelievable,” Mr Gauslaa told the paper. “They spray painted the rear view cameras, they took the number plates and the satellite dish … I’m just ecstatic.”

The truckie had picked up the van from Newcastle in New South Wales just four months ago after spending thousands of dollars on upgrades. He had only recently returned from a shakedown trip to Darwin.

Mr Gauslaa says he will now be setting off on an another extended adventure with his wife and his van in December.

There has been a spate of caravan thefts across the country in recent weeks. Just this weekend, a family in Echuca, Victoria, had their  2000 Coromal pop-top caravan stolen. The vehicle, registration P07 778, went missing from Cornelia Creek Rd on Saturday.

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11 Responses to Truckie ‘ecstatic’ after stolen van recovered intact

  1. Great news

  2. Ripper awesome!!
    Enjoy your travels

  3. Great news, just a tip though. Insure for full value it’s worth it for peace of mind.

  4. Great news!
    I hope they catch the bastards and throw the book at them, rather than the usual slap on the wrist.

  5. So pleased for you. Best to update your insurance, just in case. All the best with your travel plans

  6. Best news l’ve heard all week !
    Enjoy your trip Neil 🙂

  7. How effective are wheel braces/locks? My insurance renewal form asked if I had them fitted to my van. Are the expensive braces better than the cheap ones? Or is another security device better to buy? Caravan is parked on a back paddock with an unlocked gate, so I worry a bit. Thanks

  8. We use Nemisis wheel clamp, it covers the wheel nuts as well. We get a discount on insurance.

  9. A friend of ours back in the 90’s had his 16ft Coromal pop top stolen from a shed he owned in the Northern Suburbs of Perth. Uninsured. He is reasonably well healed so went and bought a massive 25ft Jayco. About 2 years later he received a phone call from the Police in Margaret River to say they had found his van. He still doesn’t insure as far as I know.

  10. Hi ,we use a Malenco wheel lock ,covers a nut as well as locking onto the tyre/rim ` as we have alloy wheels with deepish nuts i did have to get my local engineer friend to `turn` an extension piece on his lathe to help cover the nut .The supplied one was not long enough . Thing is, if it helps with any insurance claim it`s worth having it .

  11. No caravan is truly safe from a determined thief no matter what securing devices are used, but if we can make the task harder by installing solid locking devices and GPS tracking, that is good peace of mind. Adequate insurance is also a must.
    It seems that Neil had determined thieves who cut a padlock to get at his van and he was fortunate to get the van back without too much damage.

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