Bandits steal ute at Cooma; draw gun on man who chased them down

By Ivy Jensen

BRAZEN bandits have stolen a ute in front of its Kyabram owner before pulling a gun on the man who chased them down.

Sara Kent was watching her husband Daniel play cricket at the Cooma cricket ground when she noticed a white Commodore station wagon and silver ute with a dog cage on the back driving suspiciously around the carpark about 2.15pm Saturday.

‘‘I stood to see what was going on and before I knew it my husband’s ute flew out and started speeding off with the other car,’’ she said.

‘‘I was in disbelief and ran down the towards it and almost touched it.’’

The white Mazda BT 50, with black rims and black roll bar, was not locked but the keys were not inside.

Sara raced back to the sidelines, alerting fiends and spectators of what had happened before calling 000.

‘‘Friends of ours just instantly ran to one of their cars and started following them,’’ he said.

‘‘They left Cooma and were heading to Burnside along the tracks. They were going along the dirt track when they reached a dead end.’’

The 40-year-old man who was driving stopped the car about 50m from the thieves and his passenger — a man in his 50s — got out of the car and started walking towards them.

‘‘When he approached them, the driver got out and grabbed a shotgun out of the other car and pointed it at him and said something like ‘This has nothing to do with you. Leave’,’’ Sara said.

‘‘So he got back in his car and the thieves sped passed them and knocked the side mirror off the car,’’ he said.

‘‘I was on the phone with one of them and all I heard was ‘They’ve pulled a gun on us and we’re trapped’ and then it went dead."

The ute, registration number, IDT8GJ, was seen heading towards Mathoura where it was used to steal another car.

‘‘They took the number plate off our ute and put it on that one,’’ Sara said.

She said their car, which contained tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment, including wakeboards, kneeboards, car seats, barbecue, children’s items and business paperwork, was still missing.

The other getaway car was found on fire at McColls Bridge about 4pm.

Shepparton crime scene detectives are investigating and are calling for information.

Anyone who knows anything can contact police on 5820 5777 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.