Was it sevens fans with the munchies who made off with a Hutt businessman's hot dog cart, or a thief with the scrap metal in mind?
Police are investigating the disappearance of American Hotdogs cart owner John Roach's prized stainless steel hot dog trailer, stolen from a carpark near the Dowse Dr roundabout, along Hutt Rd, between 3pm and 4pm on February 7.
Mr Roach and his cart were a regular sight underneath a bright canvas cover at events around the Hutt Valley.
He said the shiny, month-old cart might have been ''a bit of a trophy'' for someone who should have known better.
''They've driven past, seen it there, hooked it up and taken off.
''They've stolen my livelihood. I've got two carts and they've taken the better one.''
The cart was about 1.5 metres long and easily towed.
He left it unlocked at the carpark to nip off in his van for a late lunch on the first day of the Wellington Sevens rugby tournament and when he came back it was gone - along with the sauces inside.
He made the most of Waitangi Day crowds the day before the theft and was looking forward to a busy weekend with people flooding to the Westpac Stadium, but had to use his older backup cart.
''They've left me with the old milk cart.
''When people steal these things, they don't realise the damage they're doing. It's useless to them but it matters a lot to me.''
Mr Roach made his living selling American hotdogs from the main rig gas cooker, which cost him about $5000 but was only worth about $100 as scrap metal.
The cart was previously insured with his house but he had not renewed the policy due to changes in his family.
''I only took off to have a quick bit to eat. The guys at Hirequip across the road, they all know me. Someone's come along bloody fast.''
The cart's license plate is K737Z .
He said he would offer a reward for its return and anyone with information could phone him on 022 403 4438.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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