In the chill of last Monday morning, Austin Cook stepped out of his house to find that his car, a heavily modified and easily recognisable black 1987 Hilux, was not where he parked it the night before.
Less than 24 hours later his pride and joy was discovered on the Carcoar Dam Road, and it was nothing but a burnt out shell.
“I thought someone had stolen it for the airbag suspension and the SR20 engine and maybe it would end up in Sydney or Dubbo,” Mr Cook said.
Mr Cook though discovered the fate of what he describes as his mini-truck after receiving a message on Facebook.
“Someone had seen my post on Facebook and told me that it was burnt out just off the Neville road,” he said.
On arrival Mr Cook, and his father Gary Cook, found the remains of the $18,000 car.
“They’ve done a whole heap of donuts at the intersection and either they’ve cooked the engine and it’s stalled, or they decided to burn it out,” he said.
Austin said that usually his car is locked in the garage, but due to some renovations inside his house, the garage was full and the car was parked outside.
“I’ve only had it for about six months and I was getting it resprayed next week, I’d even bought the paint,” he said.
In recent months Orange has seen a spate of car thefts and burnouts and despite the arrest of two teenagers, the thefts are continuing.