AN ELDERLY pensioner who has volunteered at the Shepparton Show for more than 10 years had her car stolen last week.
Rushworth’s Maxine Lee-Parker, 75, was helping set up the poultry section at the show when her keys went missing on Thursday night.
‘‘I was in and out of the car all day and went looking for my keys but couldn’t find them,’’ she said.
Mrs Lee-Parker moved all of her possessions into the boot and left her car unlocked for the night, inside the showgrounds.
‘‘I came back Friday morning to find it gone . . . then I called police straight away,’’ she said.
Having owned the car for less than a month, Mrs Lee-Parker said the act had left her shocked and frustrated.
‘‘I saved up my money for a few months to buy it . . . the car has 500-odd sample showbags for kids, colouring books, soft toys and few trophies,’’ she said.
On Monday morning, her car was found by police dumped and burnt in Poplar Avenue, Shepparton.
Shepparton police Detective Senior Constable Glenn Parmansche said the stolen Mitsubishi Magna would be assessed by CFA investigators.
‘‘If anyone saw anything before it went up in flames around 1am they are urged to call police,’’ he said.
Mrs Lee-Parker said she and her husband John, 81, would ‘‘just have to cope’’ but it would take time for the insurance money to come through.
‘‘It has financially affected us ... we’ll just have to wait for insurance to see what vehicle we can afford,’’ she said.
‘‘Are they on drugs, is it peer pressure or do they just take the opportunity (these criminals).’’
Items in the stolen car included a disability parking permit, Mr Lee-Parker’s prescription glasses and their dog’s harness and lead.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call Shepparton Criminal Investigation Unit on 5820 5800 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
- Hayden Thomson