A Hamilton ute owner who left the keys in his vehicle has been surprised to find out it was stolen and badly damaged when crashed into a pedestrian crossing pole early Wednesday morning.
Hamilton police Acting Sergeant Jimmy Beaumont said the Navara utility was stolen from a north Hamilton address early Wednesday.
"It's probably timely to remind people not to leave the keys in your ute," the frustrated officer said.
"These are crimes of opportunity and removing the opportunity goes a long way towards your ute not being stolen and crashed."
Police officers were called to attend a collision just before 4am involving the Nissan ute at a pedestrian crossing on Mount Baimbridge Road near the school.
Police arrived soon after and found no one present at the accident scene.
"Inquiries with the registered owner revealed that the ute had been stolen, it received significant damage and had to be towed from the collision scene," Acting Sergeant Beaumont said.
The 2013 Navara ute was valued at about $15,000.
Acting Sergeant Beaumont said the vehicle wasn't worth that any more.
"The vehicle owner was shocked after discovering his ute had been stolen and involved in a collision," he said.
"It's wrecked his day, but simply removing the keys and locking the vehicle would have gone a long way towards preventing this crime.
"It's a point of ongoing frustration for police that people don't secure their vehicles and therefore enable crime," he said.
Any witness who saw anyone near the school crossing just before 4am Wednesday is requested to contact the Hamilton police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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