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Police track down stolen Xmas train

BACK ON THE RAILS: Angela Clark beams with Christmas spirit as Detective Tony King, Detective Senior Constable Matt Sippel and Inspector Murray Gillett return Fitz Puff Puff, used to show kids her annual Christmas display. PHOTO: JOJO NEWBY
BACK ON THE RAILS: Angela Clark beams with Christmas spirit as Detective Tony King, Detective Senior Constable Matt Sippel and Inspector Murray Gillett return Fitz Puff Puff, used to show kids her annual Christmas display. PHOTO: JOJO NEWBY

CHRISTMAS preparations at the Clark family home are back on track.

A ride-on lawnmower and a model Mack truck were stolen in July, bringing Angela Clark's Christmas preparations to a grinding halt.

The mower was modified and converted into a Christmas-themed train named Fitz Puff Puff.

It was fitted with carriages and for the past five years had delighted visitors with a ride through the Clarks' Christmas display.

Yesterday, Grafton detectives were nicknamed "The Detectives who Saved Christmas" after they tracked down the stolen items, returning them to their station master.

"I was so bitter and twisted after the train got stolen that I hadn't done anything to prepare for this Christmas," Mrs Clark said.

"I'm so delighted to have them back - I've got a lot of work ahead of me."

Detective Senior Constable Matt Sippel pointed out the more serious side of the issue. "Theft, especially of anything that is unique to a victim, is a terrible crime," he said, adding community information was vital to police and encouraged anyone with information about a crime to get in contact.

"The help of the community is how we solve crimes.

"Any information we get can help us to solve the jigsaw of a crime."

Though classifying the lawnmower as a train created some confusion when writing up the paperwork for the case, Snr Const Sippel said he was happy to see the railroaded exhibitor back on track.

"The good people in this community still far outweigh the bad," he said.

If anyone is able to assist Mrs Clark in getting her trains back on track for Christmas, contact us here at The Examiner.

 Phone Grafton Police on 6642 0222 or Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.

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