Getaway truck rams into store
THIEVES escaped with thousands of dollars worth of mechanical equipment in a brazen early morning robbery - with the getaway truck wiping out a neighbouring business as they fled the scene.
The thieves cut a padlock and chain on a security fence to access the rear yard of Kruger Motors at Yamanto before packing a white Pantech truck with tyres, tools and oil.
As they drove off, their truck smashed into the side of neighbouring business, Brewer's Choice, causing significant structural damage.
Brewer's Choice Yamanto assistant manager Graeme Houghton said a neighbour heard the truck plough through the business at about 5am.
"The son of the man who owns the building lives next door and he heard a massive smash and thought someone had crashed into his house," Mr Houghton said.
"So he ran outside and saw the truck driving away and realised what had happened so rushed back inside and grabbed his car keys. When he came out the truck was just heading over the hill. He tried to follow but couldn't find them so came back and called the police."
When Mr Houghton arrived at 7.30am, torrential rain was soaking the ruins.
"The whole building actually moved from the impact and the rain was soaking the inside of the shop," he said.
"Our huge sign has been ripped down and the awnings and facia boards torn off."
It wasn't until police tried to work out why the truck had been there in the first place that the Kruger Motors owners Jai and Rita Ram realised they had been robbed.
"When we first came to work this morning we were really worried about the damage done to Brewers Choice but then realised it was all because of us," Mrs Ram said.
She said the thieves "took their time" with the robbery due to the enormity of what was stolen.
"Tonnes of tyres and tools have been stolen, it's hard to figure out a dollar value because we still don't know how much has been taken. All we know is it is a lot of stuff," she said.
Mrs Ram said this was the third time they had been robbed this year.
"About three months ago they broke in and they stole all the tyres and number plates off new cars parked out the back and stole our dog, Maya," she said.
"He was a five-year-old German Shepherd and we never saw him again."
She said normally their new guard dog Dusty, a red cattle dog, wouldn't let anyone near the place but when she arrived after the robbery he "seemed different".
"It makes me wonder if they might have done something to him too," she said.
Anyone with information can phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.