Stealing a Motor Vehicle

The investigative proficiency of police has been put to the test after officers were forced to track down a stolen donut van and managed to do so in less than an hour.

The incident – proving that not all heroes wear capes – unfolded in Syracuse in the United States when a popular donut van, going by the name of “Glazed and Confused”, was stolen, leaving police on a critical mission in the name of justice for all donut lovers.

According to local media, owner of the van, Paul Valenti, initially reported that his purple vehicle had simply vanished as he could no longer see it in its usual bay.

Assuming someone had moved it to the parking lot, the man did not realise it had been stolen.

Indeed, when he turned up to the parking lot, he realised something was wrong.

“I just figured someone moved it to the parking lot, but then I saw it wasn’t there,” Mr Valenti said.

The donut truck owner immediately contacted employees who had left the store late the previous night who confirmed the donut truck had not been moved, while police confirmed it had not been towed away.

It was at this point that the despaired donut van owner realised he was dealing with an incident of theft and turned to social media for help.


How Twitter Helped to Track Down the Stolen Donut Truck

Now perturbed, Mr Valenti acted swiftly and posted a photo of his beloved truck to the social media platform, urgently pleading for the public’s assistance in locating his mobile food business.

And as the power of social media goes, within five minutes, several members of the community replied, saying they had spotted the truck at the corner of Bear and Van Rensselaer streets near the Inner Harbor.

Clearly grasping the severity of the matter at hand, for donuts are indeed a critical component of life, local police pounced into action.

And, barely an hour following the owner’s initial report of it having vanished, they managed to locate the stolen vehicle.

Glazed and Confused shared the relieving update online to its community, expressing their gratitude at the efficient investigation.

“The Donut Mobile has been found!” the company wrote.

““It’s amazing what power social media has. This has to be the quickest case ever solved, thanks to the community.

“Thank you to everyone who called in tips. Thank you to the Syracuse Police. We are thankful! In Donuts We Trust!”

Social media users were quick to respond with their thoughts on the bizarre incident.

“You know that truck was the top priority for the police,” one user commented.

“Sounds like an inside job. Only cops would steal a donut truck,” another person wrote.

While the exterior of the food truck was not damaged, sadly, the inside of it did not follow a similar fate with the criminal deciding to trash the vehicle interiors.

The perpetrator has not been found and the investigation continues.

For now, one thing remains certain: there’s nothing like a donut raid to truly test the investigative skills of the police.


Stealing a Motor Vehicle

Stealing a motor vehicle, vessel or trailer is a serious criminal offence and one that is taken seriously by the courts.

As such, there are harsh penalties in place for the crime, including jail time.

If you are in NSW, pursuant to section 154F of the Crimes Act 1900, if you stole a motor vehicle, vessel or trailer with the intention to permanently deprive the owner of it and you were the person who committed the act, then you are guilty of an offence and can face a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.

A ‘motor vehicle’ is defined as a vehicle that is built to be propelled by a motor that forms part of the vehicle, where ‘vehicle’ is understood as:

a) any description of vehicle on wheels (including a light rail service) but not including any other vehicle used on a railway or tramway, or

b) any description of tracked vehicle (such as a bulldozer), or any description of vehicle that moves on revolving runners inside endless tracks, that is not used exclusively on a railway or tramway, or

c) any other description of vehicle prescribed by the statutory rules.

It should be noted that the offence of motor vehicle theft differs from that of taking a conveyance without the consent of the owner, or joyriding.

The key distinction is that this offence necessitates that the offender had the intention to permanently deprive the owner of the motor vehicle or vessel – i.e. to not give it back.

By Sahar Adatia.

Image credit: Marmalade Photos

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