Brazen theft in front of victim

TWO Albury motorists were hit by car thieves yesterday, with one vehicle driven off after an owner’s pleas to stop and another set alight near the Murray River.

The first theft happened about 1.30am with a Subaru four-wheel-drive sedan taken from a house in Carrington Street, which runs off Thurgoona Street in central Albury.

Insp David Cottee, of Albury police, said one of two thieves smashed a window at the home and then put his arm through the broken glass and stole keys which had been sitting on a bench.

A woman resident challenged the thief, but despite her pleas the burglar fled with the keys and drove off with an accomplice.

One of the suspects is described as having dark curly hair, while there is no description of an accomplice.

Both are believed to be about 18 years old.

The Victorian-registered grey Subaru sedan, which has number plates ZIC 944, is still to be found.

Insp Cottee described the theft as “brazen” and urged anybody who has seen the car to contact police.

He said it was important householders did not leave “keys in plain view” for thieves to target.

Thieves used such opportunities to swipe cars for transport or to move goods, Insp Cottee said.

The second theft was uncovered at about 7am.

It was then the owner of a black Toyota Yaris realised his car had been stolen from outside his Robbins Drive home in the Eastern View Estate.

Fire brigades had already been alerted to the flaming wreckage of the small model vehicle about 6.30am.

It was found a few kilometres east on Bonegilla Island near the Mungabareena waterworks with its nose in a tributary of the Murray River as flames billowed from its engine bay and windows.

Firefighters from the Albury Rural Fire Service and Wodonga fire brigade attended the burnt-out car as well as Wodonga police.

The Victorian emergency services were involved in responding as Bonegilla Island, although only accessible from NSW, is south of the Murray River.

Insp Cottee urged anybody with information about the thefts to contact Albury police on (02) 6023 9299.

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