Man disguised as Casper the Ghost steals bobcat, gets caught
WHEN Toowoomba man Barry Bull came to open his business on Friday morning, the lock on the gate had been cut and his Caterpillar bobcat was missing - in its place a Casper the Ghost mask.
The Griffith St Demolition Materials owner said he knew something was amiss before he entered the property.
"I had gotten the bobcat bogged in the back of my property the day before," Mr Bull said.
"As I approached, I could see two wheel tracks coming out of the driveway and heading up on the bitumen, and the gates were open.
"I then saw the mask lying out in the driveway. I think the person dropped it on the way to get the bobcat, we have signs around the property that said we had security cameras."
Police were called to the scene, however Mr Bull, devastated by the loss, turned to social media for help.
He placed a post on Toowoomba Crime Alerts and Discussions, offering a reward for information.
"I was thinking - without this bobcat I am stuffed as a business owner," Mr Bull said.
"I'm nearly 65, there are lumps of timber and things that are so physically heavy, you can't lift it without the machinery."
Hours after posting on the community Facebook group, Mr Bull received a message from another resident who had witnessed suspicious activity in a nearby suburb.
"They sent me a video of a bobcat being loaded onto a truck at 6am," Mr Bull said.
"She thought it looked out of place in her residential area and contacted us.
"The video had the number plate of the truck, and it was traceable."
Mr Bull said the police located the bobcat at a property outside Toowoomba yesterday morning, and he retrieved it a few hours later.
"I was afraid they would burn it out, but when I was able to pick it up I was over the moon," he said.
"Shows the power of social media, the good people in Toowoomba are absolute gold."
Mr Bull said the bobcat required only minor repairs. Police have charged a 36-year-old Glenvale man with break and entering and receiving tainted property. He is due to appear in court on April 30.