POLICE are pursuing several leads following a brazen daylight theft at Jarrad Motors and Dowfarm Machinery.
CCTV footage from the premises shows the pair ‘casing’ the Henty Street business on Friday morning, before returning around lunch time and stealing a $1300 chainsaw.
Owner Justin Jarrad said the pair had been at the premises at around 9.30am that morning, before returning to steal the chainsaw.
“They came in at about 9.30am, one was standing around the front counter, looking at things,” Mr Jarrad said.
“(Mr Jarrad’s wife and co-owner) Laura asked if she could help with anything, but he said no … the other one came in and walked straight across to the Stihl stuff, was looking at the chainsaws and was on his phone there for a while.
“They both wandered out … (Laura) thought it was a bit strange so she looked out for them … they got in a blue car and left.”
The pair returned just after midday, with the suspect who had originally looked at the chainsaws dressed in his accomplice’s jumper.
“They parked at the side here, at the Kelpie Centre … (the thief) walked straight in the roller door, grabbed the chainsaw and walked straight out again,” Mr Jarrad said.
“Laura saw him as he was leaving, she yelled out to the mechanics out the back, but he was in the car and gone.”
Coleraine Police Senior Constable James Finch said police were seeking witnesses and any information about the Blue Honda Accord the pair were believed to be driving.
“We have several strong leads at this stage and are pursuing several avenues of enquiry,” he said.
“At this stage, we don’t believe this incident is connected to the recent spate of thefts at rural merchandisers in Heywood and Coleraine.”
Mr Jarrad said while he and his wife “knew this was coming”, they did not expect thieves to act in such a brazen manner, in a small town.
“I think one of the most stolen items in Australia is chainsaws,” he said.
“So we knew this was coming when we got the Stihl dealership, just not like this.”
The chainsaw’s serial number and other identifying details are recorded in the Dowfarm and Stihl systems, making it fully traceable.
“It will be registered as stolen, so anywhere it pops up, it will raise alarms,” Mr Jarrad said.
“The worst part about it is that it was the only larger saw we had to sell, so we can’t even help anyone who wants to buy a large saw.
“We had so much trouble getting the Stihl products, with Covid and the bushfires up north, where all the chainsaws were selling out, the stock was hard to get and now this.”
The stolen chainsaw is a Stihl Farmboss MS311.
Anyone with information about the theft or who may have seen or been offered the item for sale, should contact Coleraine Police on 5575 2323 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.