A TRADIE has been left upset and distressed after a company ute containing about $10,000 worth of tools and equipment was stolen.
The white Toyota Hilux with Ranbuild printed on its doors was stolen from a house in Rose Street, California Gully on Thursday about 2am.
The ute is one of four similar-looking vehicles, which Ranbuild own.
Ranbuild director Craig Rutledge said the locked vehicle was parked in employee James' driveway.
"He was lying on the couch and he heard the car fire up," he said.
"He thought it was someone playing a joke on him.
"He put on his track suit and rushed outside, but it was gone."
Mr Rutledge said James spent more than an hour searching the streets in the area for the vehicle but could not find it.
He said half of the tools in the ute were owned by James, the other half by Ranbuild.
Mr Rutledge said his employee was very distressed about what had happened and blamed himself for the theft.
"I am more disappointed than angry," he said.
"Clearly it was planned.
"It was not James' fault, he did everything right."
Mr Rutledge said the company's employees used the vehicle on a daily basis.
He said James was suppose to have travelled to Ballarat yesterday for work but had spent the day liaising with insurance companies and police.
He said the perfect scenario would be if the ute was returned with all the tools exactly where they had been.
"I doubt that will happen," he said.
"I also doubt the person would drive the ute around considering it has Ranbuild on it, which means it will be hard to spot."
Bendigo police are investigating the theft.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the station on 5448 1300.