Kiri is a digital journalist for bayofplentytimes.co.nz.

Father and son distraught after truck stolen with family pet inside

Elliott and Possum. Photo/supplied
Elliott and Possum. Photo/supplied

A father and son who lost their best bud when a truck was stolen from Mount Maunganui are heartbroken at not knowing where he has gone.

Thames farm consultant Wayne Stachurski and son Elliott, 9, haven't seen their pet dog Possum since Thursday, September 8.

Mr Stachurski had travelled to Tauranga with Possum for work and left the fox terrier on his bed on the back seat of his Nissan Navara while attending a meeting at Club Mount Maunganui that night.

These guys just need to have a heart. Financial loss can be replaced, although I'm not happy about it, but this dog is not replaceable. He's a part of a of a lot of young people's lives.
Wayne Stachurski

When he came out, the truck and Possum were nowhere to be found.

''I was stuffed as to where the hell my truck could have gone. In the middle of a busy car park with lots of people coming and going,'' Mr Stachurski said.

Wayne and Elliott with their pup Possum. Photo/supplied
Wayne and Elliott with their pup Possum. Photo/supplied

''I had hoped that whoever had taken the truck had at least the decency to drop him off somewhere where he would be safe and sound. But they didn't.''

Possum is 5 years old. When he was a puppy Mr Stachurski gave him to Elliott for his son's 5th birthday, ''so they are pretty attached", he said.

Elliot was now struggling to accept Possum was gone.

''He got pretty teary when I told him,'' Mr Stachurski said.

Possum is not only Elliot's best pal, but he also keeps company with the neighbour's son Keenan, who has been left a quadriplegic after a rugby accident a month ago.

''He spends lots of time with Keenan, lots of nights he would be Keenan's little bed buddy.''

Mr Stachurski said he was often on the roads travelling between Auckland and Tauranga for work. Possum regularly joined him on these trips and had his own box-bed on the back seat of the truck.

''He'd come with me everywhere I go. He'd get distressed if I left him behind, you'd hear him howling,'' Mr Stachurski said.

Mr Stachurski said Possum was a friendly and ''affectionate little dog''.

''These guys just need to have a heart. Financial loss can be replaced, although I'm not happy about it, but this dog is not replaceable. He's a part of a of a lot of young people's lives. All they need to do is drop him off at an SPCA or somewhere like that.''

Tauranga Detective Sergeant Alan Kingsbury appealed for any sightings of Possum or the truck, with a registration of DAG615, to help bring some answers to the family.

''Obviously it's very upsetting for anybody when their vehicle is stolen but by having the much loved family pet inside makes the situation a lot worse and the police would appreciate any information from the public in relation to the whereabouts of Possum or the vehicle,'' Mr Kingsbury said.

''We've got two boys very upset.''

Missing


- 2005 Nissan Navara Ute
- Rego DAG615
- Canopy on the rear
- Stolen from Kawaka St on September 8

Also missing


- Possum, 5-year-old fox terrier
- Wearing a black collar
- Very friendly

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