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Dumped cars prove nuisance

A burnt-out vehicle on Churchill Ave on Thursday. PHOTO/ELISA VORSTER

Complex issues around moving ‘eyesore’ wrecks

ELISA VORSTER
[email protected]

Dumped, damaged vehicles left lying around Masterton have become a growing nuisance to some residents in recent weeks.

Police are still trying to identify the owner of a white vehicle found burnt-out on Churchill Ave in Lansdowne on Thursday.

Firefighters were called around 5.40am and arrived to find the car still ablaze.

A firefighter who was at the scene believed the car was involved in an accident a few weeks before the blaze and had been left in a damaged condition on Churchill Ave since then.

Police sergeant Ian Osland said police were still trying to determine the cause of the fire but were treating it as suspicious in the interim.

Thursday’s burnt out vehicle came after the demise of a vehicle used in the burglary at Showcase Jewellers on Queen St last week.

It was stolen from a Solway address and later found on fire on Chamberlain Rd.

Chamberlain Rd resident Bruce Robertson said the vehicle was still there despite several requests to have it removed.

Robertson said he and his wife were woken up by the sound of the tyres exploding in the early hours of December 19 and the remains of the car had been outside their property ever since.

“We opened the curtains and we thought the neighbour’s house was on fire because it was so bright.”

A Masterton District Council officer had since been out to push the car off the road as it was posing a risk to traffic but were unable to remove the vehicle until they had confirmation from either the owner or the insurer.

Robertson said the vehicle was an “eyesore” which most of the neighbours would like to see gone, but he was mostly concerned about the danger it was causing.

“It’s frustrating and dangerous because there are no lights on it, so in the dark you’re on top of it before you even see it.”

He said both police and the council had been very helpful, but he was frustrated with the removal process.

A Harley St resident also had to look at a damaged vehicle on their street for almost two months after it was left there after a minor crash.

Osland said in situations like these, police ask the owner in the first instance if they would like it towed but were bound by the owner’s wishes if they refused.

He said police only uplifted a vehicle if it disrupted traffic. It could also be removed to allow forensic evidence to be gathered.

1 COMMENT

  1. Haha. First off all, the cops know the owner and went to the owners house Thursday morning the same day as the fire happened. ?? mate, where do you get your info? This was posted on Saturday 2 days after it happened ?obviously couldn’t find much, haha.

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