A Warrnambool man returned home from driving volunteers to Wodonga to fight bushfires to find his ute had been stolen.
Geoff Royce's pride and joy - a 1978 WB one tonne sky blue ute - was taken from the yard of his workplace, Christian's buses.
Two offenders cut the wire fence to gain access to the yard about 1am on Sunday morning.
They broke into the ute, which was locked, and were able to start it and drive it away.
"I got back here about midday on Sunday and the first thing I noticed was my tonner's gone," Mr Royce said.
"The fence has been opened up and you can see the skid marks where they drove out."
Mr Royce said his ute had been spotted by a number of people in Ballarat after his son Brad posted photos of the ute on Facebook.
"Everybody has been helping out by sharing it on Facebook," he said.
"Even people I don't know have been helping."
Mr Royce said a woman in Ballarat reported seeing a male, probably aged in his 20s, driving the ute past her home on Sunday.
He said he loved his classic ute, which he bought about 25 years ago.
"It's only a minor thing compared to what's happened to the people affected by fires, but it's disappinting," he said.
Mr Royce said his ute would be hard to replace.
"I'm not holding high hopes of getting it back, but we'll see what happens."
Mr Royce said the theft had been reported to Warrnambool police.
CCTV footage which shows the offenders, who are wearing hoodies, will be passed on to police.
Anyone who witnessed anyone acting suspicious in Walsh Road on Sunday morning is asked to contact Warrnambool police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.