Weekend car theft crime spree ranges from Shepparton to Echuca

By Shepparton News

Update: A wider picture has emerged of an alleged car theft crime spree ranging from Shepparton to Echuca across the weekend that saw about a dozen cars stolen.

Some cars were abandoned, another was burnt out, while several still remain missing, according to police.

Brand new Toyota Land Cruisers, a Toyota Kluger, a Ford Ranger and a Porsche 911 were allegedly caught up in the series of thefts.

The spree reportedly began in Shepparton on Saturday morning at approximately 3am when thieves targeted Shepparton Toyota on Melbourne Road, Kialla according to Detective Senior Constable Lance Wiltshire.

“There were 10 cars stolen. A couple were brand new (Toyota) Land Cruisers,” he said.

About half of the vehicles were later found dumped in and around the Shepparton region.

“Two were left in the vicinity of the burglary, one was on Watt Rd and the other one was on The Boulevard,” Det Sen Const Wiltshire said.

One stolen vehicle was reportedly used to ram a set of storage units on Kialla Lakes Dve around the same time as the thefts, but the thieves failed to gain entry, according to CCTV footage handed to police.

The trail went cold with five vehicles still missing valued at around half-a-million dollars, according to Det Sen Const Wiltshire.

The following (Sunday) morning at about 7.30am, Echuca Police were made aware of a 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 believed to have been stolen from a farm in the Riverina, according to Sergeant Brendan Randoe.

One of the stolen Land Cruisers from Shepparton was allegedly accompanying the Porsche.

Echuca Police gave pursuit, but for safety reasons were forced to cease the pursuit when the fleeing vehicles turned on to gravel roads reportedly reaching speeds of up to 150 km/h.

The vehicles became trapped in bushland, according to Sgt Randoe, with air surveillance brought in to locate the vehicles and alleged culprits.

Police later located the Porsche and Land Cruiser, along with a third vehicle, a Ford Ranger, allegedly stolen from Kerang.

The Toyota Land Cruiser, reportedly worth in excess of $100 000, was found burnt out at the scene.

The culprits to the series of alleged crimes could not be located and police are calling for witnesses or anyone who has information about the dramatic series of events to come forward.

Shepparton Police can be contacted on phone 5820 5777.

Echuca police can be contacted on phone 5483 1500 or information can be given anonymously to Crime Stoppers on phone 1800 333 000.

Earlier: A number of vehicles were stolen from a car dealership in Shepparton on Saturday morning.

Between 3am and 4am, police believe a group of people gained entry into the dealership and stole a number of vehicles.

Shepparton police Detective Senior Constable Lance Wiltshire said four of the stolen cars had not yet been found.

Det Sen Const Wiltshire said police were notified of the theft after the dealership noticed a number of cars missing from their yard when they arrived at work on Saturday morning.

He said the stolen vehicles had also been linked to a burglary committed at a storage shed about the same time of the theft, with security footage showing the vehicles in the vicinity of Kialla Lakes Dve.

‘‘We have not been able to assess what has been stolen (from the storage sheds) at this point,’’ he said.

Det Sen Const Wiltshire said no-one had been arrested at this stage.

Anyone who saw any suspicious behaviour in the Melbourne Rd area in the early hours of Saturday morning is urged to phone Shepparton police station on 5820 5777 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.