Southland man offers to send remote to hydraulic trailer thief in tongue-in-cheek newspaper ad

Colin Hitchen of Lochiel Engineering is appealing to the public to look out for "noticeably annoyed" neighbours with a ...
John Hawkins

Colin Hitchen of Lochiel Engineering is appealing to the public to look out for "noticeably annoyed" neighbours with a new trailer to make contact.

A Southland man is offering to send the controllers, remote and ownership paperwork to the person who stole his brand new hydraulic trailer.

Lochiel Engineering owner Colin Hitchen had the items for the tandem axle trailer packaged on his desk ready to send as they are "obviously no longer of any benefit" to him.

"We obviously got off on the wrong foot, we would love to make it right," he said of the theft in the Winton lot.

He would do it all for a small charge of $16,800, which he hoped would cover the courier charge.

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Hitchen appealed to the thief's conscience on Saturday in a lost notice, and said his original message had resulted in dozens of calls, texts and emails from people with similar stories wishing him good luck in finding the trailer, but the culprit had not come forward.

He said the responses from southern Kiwis had restored his faith in humanity and given a silver lining to an otherwise "pretty annoying" event.

In Hitchen's message to the thief he said, "in your haste to leave you didn't give us the opportunity to give you a number of items pertaining to the trailer which you may very well need."

Those items included the cab brake controller, the hand held hydraulic tipping controller and the "real crown jewels", the pocket remotes and the training, maintenance and service documents.

"The trailer has no braking which you will find to be a real pain", Hitchen wrote.

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"Sadly you may have to develop muscles in places you didn't have places before, to shovel the bark chips and manually unload the firewood.

"I suspect also your family are going to be rather pissed with you having to unload all this themselves when they find out how easy it could be."

In regards to getting a warrant without the paperwork, Hitchen said to the new owner "good luck, and hopefully they don't ask".

But he said in his experience it seemed unlikely. 

Hitchen also appealed to the public to look out for "noticeably annoyed" neighbours with new trailers to make contact.

The surveillance camera footage had not been enough to track down the culprit, who used an electric chainsaw to cut through the chains and into the lot in the early hours on Friday morning.

Hitchen said although this had been a real blow, he had been "pretty lucky" over the years. He and his wife were trying to look on the bright side and said they had owned the yard for years, and it was only the second time this had happened.

 - Stuff

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