Gympie's stupidest crime ends in painfully slow car chase
AUSTRALIA'S least perfect crime and one of history's slowest and silliest car chases were all part of a real life comedy drama in Gympie this week.
Crime victim Mark Cowie can laugh about it now, but for a short while on Sunday it was no joke.
Gone was his utility vehicle, his wallet, his phone and all the other things we normally leave lying around in our cars.
Mr Cowie was only 10m from his ute, in an enclosed business yard, when a brazen and possibly somewhat muddled thief jumped in the driver's side door, started the vehicle and drove off on a bizarre first-gear tour of Gympie's CBD.
"I'd just finished work," Mark Cowie explained, as he told the story of his strange after-work adventure on Sunday evening.
"I had dropped the truck off," said Mr Cowie, who works for the Gympie firm, Campbell's Truck Bobcat and Landscape Supplies, in Violet St, on the Bruce Hwy.
"I'd been working at a mate's place, so we'd had a chat and then I took the truck back.
"It was in the yard, with 8-foot high fences and I was just swapping stuff over from the truck to my ute.
"My wallet and phone were in the ute and I'd gone back for my thongs and hat.
"I was only 10 paces away. I looked around and he was driving away, bunny hopping and revving the motor.
"It was 7.30pm. I called 000 and police put it out on radio.
"Some police setting up a speed camera van saw him and followed him, along with a mate of mine in his car.
"He was mostly doing 50kmh, the slowest chase ever.
"I think he was still in first gear. He tried fourth and nearly stalled it, then put it back into first.
"He turned off the highway and headed up to the Aussie (Australian Hotel). He was in a V-6 ute and he couldn't outrun a speed camera van."
Police finally got their man in the car park behind the Sovereign Cinema and charged him with offences, including driving under the influence.