Family car found burning in Appleby

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A family car was stolen from a Richmond home last night and found burning next to the Appleby River this morning.

The husband of the car’s owner, who didn’t want to be named, says he arrived home from a work function at around 8pm last night and the car was still in the driveway of their Park Drive home. At 7am this morning he says he answered a phone call from police telling him the car had been found burning in Appleby. “I said ‘no it’s in the driveway’ but when I looked out the window it was gone.”

He says his wife’s hand bag and car seats for his three kids were in the car. “I’m absolutely shattered,” he told Nelson Live.

Police at the scene say that it appears two cars were involved in the theft and they had taken it on a big joy ride before setting it on fire.

There were tyre marks around the river bed and land surrounding it and police brought in a dog handler to try and find clues but the fire had damaged it so bad that there “wasn’t much evidence”.

It’s the second time this week that a car has been stolen and found burning next to the Appleby River.

Richmond Fire Brigade chief, Ralph Lonsdale, says a similar incident occurred on Wednesday morning. “It’s the second stolen car that’s been found burning in the past three days. The other was stolen from Brightwater but also dumped in Appleby.”

He says a fire truck from Richmond and one from the Appleby brigade attended the fire.