HEARTBROKEN: Coast tradie Tony McDuie, pictured with wife Petra, has lost 40 years' worth of tools after thieves broke into his Marcoola home on Sunday afternoon.
HEARTBROKEN: Coast tradie Tony McDuie, pictured with wife Petra, has lost 40 years' worth of tools after thieves broke into his Marcoola home on Sunday afternoon. Warren Lynam

'I've lost my livelihood': Callous thieves leave tradie with nothing

TONY McDuie lost more than his Australia Post-red Falcon ute when thieves invaded his Marcoola home Sunday afternoon, scooping up his keys and other possessions.

"They don't realise what it does," Mr McDuie said of the loss of his 40-years' accumulation of tools he uses in his trade as a builder.

"I've lost my livelihood. They're the scourge of the Coast."

The targeted theft of trade utility vehicles in recent months has left construction workers from Caloundra to Noosa to pick up the pieces.

Detective Senior Sergeant Daren Edwards Coolum Police and Property Crime investigators were investigating theft.

Mr McDuie's keys were stolen from his home, but Det Sen Sgt Edwards said you could go down most streets full of cars and 70% would not be locked.

"I've never seen a place that was so lax about security," he said.

Tony McDuie's ute was stolen from his Marcoola home.
Tony McDuie's ute was stolen from his Marcoola home.

Det Sen Sgt Edwards said some thieves would swap a $400 hammer drill for $50 worth of the drug "speed" and would take anything of value.

Marcoola residents say the beach suburb has been plagued by a series of robberies in Tamarindus Street, Clematis Court, Lorraine Avenue, Petrie Avenue, Banksia Crescent and now Joanne Street where the McDuie's live.

Insurance would pay for a new ute, but Mr McDuie said it was the theft of his tools which would be felt most deeply, preventing him from returning to work as planned on the Mount Coolum shops renovation today.

He had washed the ute, re-packed his tools and locked up on Sunday when a spur of the moment decision saw he, his wife, daughter and her boyfriend head to the cinema at 3pm to watch the latest Star Wars movie.

They returned at 6.45pm to find the ute and tools missing, the front door open and a push bike in the courtyard.

Inside the home the thieves took a Samsung Tablet and the Hero 5 Go Pro camera his wife gave him for Christmas but had still to be used.

But they left behind a $300 blue tooth speaker, a Google Home device and expensive sunglasses.

The distinctive bike left behind in Tony McDuie’s courtyard after a thief broke into his Marcoiola home, stole possessions and a set of car keys before making off with his red Ford Falcon ute packed with trade tools.
The distinctive bike left behind in Tony McDuie’s courtyard after a thief broke into his Marcoiola home, stole possessions and a set of car keys before making off with his red Ford Falcon ute packed with trade tools. Warren Lynam

The Gem Visa card stolen in a bag along with Mr McDuie's wife's licence, was used eight times in quick succession in the hours immediately after the theft.

The thieves may have left some items in the home behind but when they took the ute they took every one of Mr McDuie's tools as well as the steel-capped boots and hard hat he wore to work every day.

"it's heart breaking," he said. "I don't want to see this happen to someone else.

"The Sunshine Coast is growing but people still know each other. For tradies their car is their livelihood.

"Now I'm going to have to go and buy it all at once. It's soul destroying."


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