A $30,000 excavator was stolen from a Springs Road site early Saturday morning, bringing one family's dream home to a rapid halt.
Christine and Glenn Plover were about to start the footings of their new Glen Park home at the weekend when the excavator was taken.
Security footage from a neighbouring property shows a tow truck and tag-along trailer driving past the site at 4.21am.
Mrs Plover said the machinery was always locked in a shed, but had been left out for the first time to start work on the footings early Saturday.
"Whoever did it knew about excavators, because they have driven it to the side of the road," she said.
"We're hoping some other neighbours might have seen something too. Someone must know something about it."
Without the excavator, a new home for the couple and their six children cannot be completed.
"It was our dream home we were starting to build and now everything's come to a standstill.
"We bought the excavator to save money on excavation and now this has happened."
Mrs Plover said her husband had been spending long hours volunteering at the Ballarat Swap Meet when the machinery was taken and was devastated by its loss.
"We've got a reward offered for any information."
The excavator is a Komatsu TC50 brand and is yellow with tinted windows.
Ballarat police is also investigating the theft. Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.