Owner shocked, police mystified, as car burns
A Southland family is looking for answers after their dream $70,000 Mustang car was stolen and destroyed just 2km from their home.
Maitland dairy farmer Matthew Webb's 1969 Mach 1 Ford Mustang was taken from his locked garage overnight and then torched in what police are calling a very strange incident.
Senior Constable John Mawhinney, of Tapanui, said the car was taken from the Garden Gully Rd address overnight on Thursday. It was found on Friday burnt out in Sandy Knowes Rd, Mr Mawhinney said.
"It's very strange that someone burnt out such a vehicle and we're very interested to know why, as is the owner," he said.
It appeared the vehicle had been towed from the address.
Mr Webb said he was in a state of disbelief.
"I went to work at 4am and then came home and the garage door was open, which is never open. I thought where's my wife put it, what's the joke here," he said. "I never thought it would be something like this, especially not in Southland."
The couple bought the car 12 months ago after having a few good years at work, he said.
It had always been their dream to own the car.
"My wife and I got together 13 years ago and when we were dating she had pictures of that type of car on her wall. It had always been a dream of ours to have one."
They were planning to keep it to give to their 18-month-old son on his 21st birthday.
He wasn't sure why someone would go to the effort of stealing the car to then burn it out, he said.
"Something went wrong. Whether they got spooked or something, I don't know. The tow rope was broken in front of the car."
Whoever it was also knew what they were looking for, he said.
"We've also got a late-model Nissan ute sitting out the front with the keys in the ignition that they've gone straight past. They've come for [the Mustang] specially. I'm really gutted, hard to explain really. We've lost something really special."
Anyone who has any information about the incident is encouraged to contact Tapanui police on (03) 203 0040.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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