Stolen ute used in ram raid, then torched
A stolen car was used in a ram raid burglary before being set alight, sparking a grass fire in Kyabram.
Detective Senior Constable Darren Dean of Campaspe Criminal Investigation Unit said thieves broke into the Campaspe Shire Council depot in Kyabram about 2 am Sunday and stole a Ford Ranger ute.
An hour later, the ute was used to ram into a power tools shop in Mackay St, Rochester, where thieves stole five chainsaws worth more than $2000.
‘‘They rammed into an old double wooden door, which was pushed off its hinges, and sprung the door open,’’ Det Sen Const Dean said.
‘‘The offenders returned to the Kyabram area where the car was found burnt out in Espagne Lane.’’
Kyabram, Tongala and Girgarre fire brigades were called to the scene at 5 am, when 16 firefighters spent a couple of hours battling a grass fire sparked by the car blaze.
‘‘It was fully involved when we got there,’’ Kyabram Fire Brigade captain Mick Crompton said.
‘‘The grass fire was our priority. It was concerning given the fact it was windy and the fire was heading into a tree plantation area.
‘‘Access to the fire was difficult due to the trees and it was still dark so we couldn’t see how far the dry grass extended.
‘‘The fire was running up the bank and burned to the dam edge. The dried out bed helped us stop the fire.’’
Mr Crompton said the fire burned about a hectare of grass.
‘‘We were there for a couple of hours until the fire was blacked out,’’ he said. The ute was destroyed. With no suspects, police are trawling CCTV footage from around the area and also appealing for help to catch the offenders. ● Anyone with information about the crimes is urged to phone Echuca police on 5483 1500.
— Kyabram Free Press