By Danielle Kutchel
The theft of a “dream car” has left an Officer resident “paranoid” for her property’s safety.
Morgen Bennett‘s 2015 Jeep Wrangler was stolen on Monday 3 February from what the owner described as a usually quiet street.
Ms Bennett said she heard her vehicle’s engine start up at about 11.40pm and saw it being reversed down the driveway by the thief.
Her husband jumped in his van and gave chase through Beaconsfield and Officer but had no phone on him to alert authorities as to where the stolen car was.
The couple later realised that the van had been broken into as well, with tools stolen and other personal items strewn across the curb.
When police arrived, they also found a backpack with ammunition, cigarettes and knives, allegedly left behind by the thief.
Ms Bennett said her car was found in Springvale two days later, significantly damaged and with stolen plates.
Two ice pipes were among the items found in the car.
“All the belongings we had in the car besides the car seats had been dumped behind a school in Narre Warren, which included both my kids’ two-month-old tablets,” she said.
She added that on a recent night, they had witnessed several vehicles acting suspiciously, driving up and down the street multiple times.
“We get no traffic ever, especially at night,” she said.
“We have all been paranoid since and are not sleeping, now knowing about the bullets and what could have happened.”
She said the Wrangler had been her dream car since the age of five and the theft had thrown their family into turmoil, with her son missing a day of prep in his first week and her husband missing work.
His employees have been forced to make insurance claims for lost tools.
Ms Bennett said it was so serious they had considered moving.
“We’re super paranoid,” she said.
There have been several other thefts and attempted break-ins reported by Arcadia residents in recent weeks.
Police were contacted but were unable to provide any information prior to deadline.