Matchbox car collection stolen

JOHN 'Smokey' Evurard's beloved Matchbox car collection was stolen during the Easter break.

The 75-year-old Epsom resident has been collecting since 1980 and had close to 600 valuable models to his name.

The collection was worth at least $16,000.

"They've gone out of production now, you can't buy them," Smokey said.

"So they're probably worth even more now.

"I'd actually just boxed them all up because I was going to sell them at some stage.

"It took us days and hours and weeks to put them all back in their original boxes.

"If you keep the boxes that puts the value on them."

Smokey started his Matchbox collection after his wife Rae started collecting teddy bears.

He paid various prices for them, even up to $300 for one model.

"I'd order them out of a magazine," he said.

"I just liked them but I guess I looked at them as an investment for later on in life."

600 models worth at least $16,000

The couple moved from Beulah to Bendigo five years ago.

"When we were in Beulah I had them displayed right around my billiard room in walls in glass cabinets," Smokey said.

"There wasn't room in this place (in Bendigo) to do that."

The Evurards are renting a house in Epsom which is on the market.

"I don't know if someone had seen them or it was just opportunistic," Mrs Evurard said.

"We went away for Easter, on the Thursday morning, and got home on Tuesday afternoon.

"The trailer was taken with everything in it, things from the shed, we presume."

Smokey has been working with Bendigo police and is making phone calls about his insurance.

Mrs Evurard is encouraging the public to be on the lookout for her husband's stolen Matchbox collection.

"They might see something online or at a market," she said.

Anyone with information should call Bendigo police on 5448 1300 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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