A BRAZEN thief walked into the Ryans trucking yard in Warrnambool and drove out with a $140,000 prime mover after unhooking the B-double trailers.
The distinctive blue and red International Eagle bonnet-nose vehicle was driven out the front gates of the Coghlans Road depot some time between Saturday afternoon and 3am yesterday.
Police and the company have called for assistance in tracking it down.
“It’s a big piece of equipment and not easy to hide,” said Ryans general manager for regional Victoria Martin Ellul.
“It regularly did the Melbourne to Warrnambool run hauling Safeway B-double trailers every day of the week.
“The driver discovered the theft when he turned up for his 3am shift. He also lost a lot of his own gear which was stored in the cabin.
“It’s an open yard with vehicles usually coming and going 24 hours a day and this truck had been parked at the rear.
“To buy a new prime mover like this would cost about $250,000.
“Losing a truck like this when it’s our busiest time of the year with supermarket deliveries is very inconvenient.”
First Constable Ross Hatton from Warrnambool police said the vehicle had distinctive Ryans signwriting with the registration WVP-800. It also has a dent on the passenger-side fuel tank.
“Someone will know something about the theft,” he said.
“We’d ask people with information to ring Crime Stoppers or the Warrnambool police station.”
Mr Ellul said apart from a few short joyrides in past years this may be the first time in the company’s history that a truck had been stolen and driven off into the night.
“We’re regularly reviewing security at the yard, but you don’t expect this type of brazen theft,” he said.