'Lock up and be wary': Man gutted after senseless vandalism
A COFFS Harbour man has been left devastated and out of pocket tens of thousands of dollars after discovering vandals had stolen his 'pride and joy' troopy, and set it on fire.
Simon Vos, who found his Toyota Troopcarrier 'burnt to a crisp' in a field behind a Bonville service station, said even with the insurance payout he's lost almost $20,000 - but that's nothing compared to the sentimental value lost.
"I'm absolutely devastated. It was my pride and joy... my freedom in this world," he said.
Mr Vos said in the early hours of Tuesday morning he woke up to see his car driving off.
"I searched from 2am to 9pm searching absolutely everywhere in Coffs," he said.
In a post that was shared by hundreds on social media, Mr Vos took to Facebook to ask the community for help.
Three people said they spotted the vehicle around 3pm 'hooning' around town and heading south.
Mr Vos then found the burnt-out vehicle in a Bonville field at around 9pm.
"They didn't even try to take anything out of the car that was worth money - my 3-month-old Engel fridge was in the back, worth $1,900.
"They just did some burn outs in the field and burnt it with everything inside."
Mr Vos is adamant the issue is widespread in the local area, and hopes his experience will serve as a warning for locals to lock up.
"I know I'm not the only one as it is happening almost every night," he said.
"I want people to know to lock up and be wary because insurance doesn't cover what it is worth to you."
The latest figures from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research show in the last two years in Coffs Harbour, motor vehicle thefts went up by 11 per cent per year.
In one year ending March 2019, a total of 202 motor vehicle thefts took place in the local area.