Car theft mars Relay
LANA Chapman and her husband, Michael, were sleeping in their Grafton home the night before the Grafton Relay for Life when thieves broke into their old Toyota Lexon out the front and slashed a tyre before finding the jackpot - keys to a nearby 2010 model Commodore Omega Sportswagon.
Lana had the car packed full of campaign gear in preparation for next day's record-breaking Relay for Life - an event she had raised $1300 for through raffling at Shoppingworld and Grafton Mall as well as a Facebook promotion.
"I woke up in the morning and I asked Michael why he'd left his boot open, he said 'I didn't' and we had a bit of an argument over that until we went further around the corner and said 'sh--, where's our car?'," Ms Chapman said.
The young couple reported the theft to police.
Ms Chapman said her friends managed to scrounge together blankets, chairs and a tent to enable her to attend the Cancer Council fundraiser.
It was there, about 5pm, that police said the car had been found bogged in a ditch between Baryulgil and Tabulam.
"They kicked in the doors and panels and it looks like they sideswiped trees," she said.
The Chapmans bought the Commodore three weeks ago and though they wisely had the car insured, the insurance excess is likely to cost close to $1000.
"I'd be an absolute mess if it wasn't insured," Ms Chapman said. "It's bad enough as it is, I'm actually scared to be home alone now."
Grafton man Bri Hourigan's utility was stolen from Grafton in early March and the damaged vehicle was found at Baryulgil in the following days.
"It's like they want a ride home," Ms Chapman said.
"You work so hard for things and they just take it like it means nothing; it's not fair."
Ms Chapman said Michael's mother died of cancer five years ago but her Relay for Life participation was also motivated by a wish to simply be involved with the community.