A small business owner has appealed for help after his trailer was stolen from a locked compound in Ararat, Victoria over the weekend.
Luke Hayden, a former interstate truck driver who now buys and sells small machinery, had sold the trailer a few weeks before the incident to a farmer from SA.
“The new owner was harvesting so he had paid for the trailer a few weeks ago and said he would come down on a rainy day and pick it up,” Hayden told Big Rigs.
“Yesterday was that rainy day. He had driven across from Bordertown to collect the trailer, but I had to go to Melbourne so I sent my father-in-law to the compound to open the gate and let him in.
“Next thing I got a call from my father-in-law saying the trailer was gone.
“The new owner had to go home empty-handed, and I’m left empty-handed as well.”
The trailer, which has the registration number B26 043, was taken from a compound near the Sandlant bus depot in Ararat over the weekend.
Hayden says there were fresh 4×4 wheel marks in the mud near where the trailer had been, which he thinks were made by the vehicle used by the thief.
“I’ve got some information,” he continued.
“Because of the tracks, you could sort of see where they went in and where they came out. It looks like they were heading west with the trailer.
“There are also a few places close by that have cameras. I’ve been speaking to the police this morning and they are going to chase that up and see if they can get footage.”
Hayden is offering a $1000 reward to anyone who can help him track down the trailer.
“Any leads are better than no leads,” he said.
“Someone may have seen it heading west. It could be hidden somewhere in Ararat, you just don’t know. It’s a big country.
“If anyone knows the whereabouts of the trailer, or has any information, can they get in touch with the police or call me on 0412659222.”
Hayden said he’s seen an increase in similar thefts happening recently and it’s very frustrating for honest people trying to make a living in the transport industry.
“It’s relentless. The amount of trucks and trailers I see pinched on Facebook. People just don’t care.
“I’m mostly sad for the poor bastard who bought the trailer as an early Christmas present for himself, but it’s disappointing for me as well.
“I’m just a small business owner making ends meet at Christmastime.”