Grey nomads’ ute stolen while they slept in caravan

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Caravan park theft leaves grey nomads shocked
Helen and Arron Cole have been left devastated by the theft of their ute. PIC: Ben Gross/Sunraysia Daily

Two Tasmanian grey nomads have had their Big Lap plans thrown into chaos after heartless thieves stole their car while they slept in their caravan in a caravan park.

Helen and Arron Cole told the Sunraysia Daily that they were ‘completely and utterly gobsmacked’ when they woke on Sunday to find an empty space where their Mazda Bravo dual-cab ute had been parked.

It is believed thieves entered the Buronga Caravan Park caravan park near Mildura in the early hours of Sunday and stole the vehicle while the couple slept.

Police later found the vehicle in a Coomealla Vineyard. It had crashed into a post and was burnt out.
Mrs Cole told the Sunraysia Daily that the pair had been ‘saving and planning’ for months for their trip.

“It’s just devastating really, there are no other words to describe how we feel,” she said. “You think you’re safe and then thieves just steal from right under your nose … it might not have been a flash ute but it was ours and we worked bloody hard to save the money to buy it.”

The ute contained about $5,000 worth of personal effects, including a Waeco fridge and a barbecue. While the ute was fully insured the couple only had $1,000 worth of personal effects cover.

“It’s definitely put a dampener on our trip and our time here in Sunraysia, that’s for sure,” Mrs Cole said. “We’ve essentially been stranded with no independence and no mode of transportation.”

The couple will now be forced to pay $500 to have their caravan towed to Bendigo where they plan to stay with a family member.
On a brighter note, the couple say they have been overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers in their time of need.

“Once word started getting around the caravan park, people were offering to help left right and centre,” Mrs Cole told the Sunraysia Daily. “We had one bloke drop off some chairs to us so that we had somewhere to sit, someone else lent us their car so we could drive into Mildura and get some groceries – it’s those little acts of kindness that means the world when something like this happens, especially when you are so far from home.”

The couple says they have learned some important lessons.

“Our vehicle was securely locked and they still managed to take it … in hindsight we should have put an immobiliser on the ute,” Mrs Cole said. “I recommend people do that even if you assume you’ll be safe within a park … and make sure the insurance cover you have is for the right amount or you could find yourself out of pocket like us.”

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6 Responses to Grey nomads’ ute stolen while they slept in caravan

  1. We have stayed at that park and had no problems, also son and family as well.

  2. I always use a steering lock when away and almost always at home.

  3. Sorry to hear about this.What grubs are out there.Wonderful to hear about the generosity of others don’t let it spoil your dream.

  4. If they catch the grubs that did it they will probably only get a slap on the wrist. It’s time to enforce minimum mandatory gaol sentences and 3 times your out, locked up for good sentences. I’ve spent a small fortune to secure my tug, van and contents, which could have been spent elsewhere.

  5. Saw a doco that indicated out of all the modern ways of anti theft devices available on vehicles today..the old steering wheel is still recognised as the best deterrent…when the thieves spot it they move on…!

    • The problem with steering locks, all you need is a hacksaw, and they are on there way!!!!!!!!
      However saying that, a lot of them are only OXYGEN THIEVES, PLUS THEY AIN’T EXACERLY SMARTEST TOOL IN YOUR TOOL BOX..

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