A COMMODORE ute belonging to Skin, Ski, and Surf owner John O'Neill, stolen in a brazen daylight robbery, has been recovered in Wendouree, although the car has been damaged.
The ute was taken from the St Patrick's Church car park at around 9.30am on Sunday morning as Mr O'Neill was cleaning up from celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the store.
READ MORE: Shocking brazen theft in front of owner
Mr O'Neill said he had heard this morning the car had been recovered, but towed away while investigations were continuing.
"The police have rung me this morning to say they found the car and that there was a tool bag in the back, which they asked if it belonged to me, which it doesn't, so I'm guessing whoever took it was probably looking to use it for a burglary," he said.
"I haven't actually seen it yet, but I've been told there's some damage to the front."
Mr O'Neill was packing presents from the previous nights' celebrations when the thieves took the car from in front of him.
"There was a Billabong history book signed by world surfing champion Mark Occhilupo, there was a skateboard signed by the owner of Globe and there were a couple of other presents which we hadn't even opened yet.
"There was also a surfboard which flew out and was damaged. There's a few other bits and pieces, but nothing personal thank goodness.
"The car is insured and I'm glad that it isn't completely damaged, you can't get that sort of Holden ute anymore. I was quite attached to it, it's been a good car, so hopefully it can be fixed."
Mr O'Neill said he understood that several pedestrians might have narrowly escaped injury when the car took off at high speed.
Police have taken possession of the car and are carrying out investigations into who may be responsible for the brazen theft.
"Hopefully they catch these pretty quick," Mr O'Neill said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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