THE RANCID stench of a burned out commodore is all Heather Tilden has left of her “pride and joy”.
The Wagga resident woke to a nightmare early Tuesday morning when she looked out her window to find her beloved V8 consumed by flames.
Police are now investigating the incident that occurred at 2.40am on Adams Street and urge any witnesses to come forward.
Mrs Tilden – who had cancer recently cut from her esophagus – was left completely devastated, with a blackened shell the only remains of an irreplaceable and prized possession.
“It was a birthday present from my husband three years ago,” Mrs Tilden said.
“He knew I always wanted a red one.”
The die-hard Sydney Swans supporter said the vehicle was made to look “Mickey Mouse” for the Battle of the Bridges in April – the first game they would attend since recovering from serious health conditions.
She said in the 20 years she’d lived in Ashmont, she’d never had any problems with the neighbourhood and couldn’t understand why someone would steal and torch something that wasn’t theirs.
“You hear about things happening but we wouldn’t know,” she said. “If they find who did it, I hope they can get help if they need it.”
Fred “Bumper” Tilden – who had open heart surgery last year – said the incident was a real “kick in the guts”.
“I didn’t know what to think. I just went blank,” he said. “But you’ve just got to get up and keep going.”
The incident follows a string of arson-related attacks in the Ashmont area in recent months and police say property offenders are in their sights.
Inspector Adrian Telfre said anyone in the area who may have seen anything suspicious in the early hours of Tuesday morning should contact the Local Area Command directly or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.