Stolen ute used in ram raid, then torched

Shepparton News - - SNNEWS - Ve­hi­cle de­stroyed: By Ivy Jensen

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

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