Volunteer’s vehicle torched

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Paul “Hammy” Bresland’s burnt out Holden Rodeo.
Camera IconPaul “Hammy” Bresland’s burnt out Holden Rodeo. Credit: Supplied

An act of senseless vandalism has cost a respected Capes resident more than $30,000, after his car was stolen and torched with uninsured work tools inside.

Last month, Cape Naturaliste Volunteer Marine Rescue Group vice-commander Paul “Hammy” Bresland was diving with his daughter and her partner at Windmills surf break when his Holden Rodeo was stolen.

About 4.10pm, five bushfire brigades were sent to a car fire in bushland off Sheen Road in Meelup Regional Park.

The fire was controlled within 15 minutes but sadly for Mr Bresland the car was identified as his stolen Holden Rodeo.

City of Busselton community emergency services manager Blake Moore said the fire did not spread thanks to the timely response from volunteer firefighters.

“The car was deliberately set on fire, we were very lucky it didn’t spread through Meelup Regional Park,” he said.

“There was a total fire ban on the day and the fire danger was close to severe.”

Mr Bresland said when he noticed his car was gone he was in shock and a “sinking feeling” hit him in the stomach when the bushfire brigades sped past.

Paul “Hammy” Bresland was a staunch defender of Canal Rocks boat ramp
Camera IconPaul “Hammy” Bresland was a staunch defender of Canal Rocks boat ramp Credit: Busselton Dunsborough Times

Although the car was insured at market value, the additional work attachments Mr Bresland added to the Rodeo were not covered.

It contained items of sentimental value.

To help compensate the long-time volunteer, a Gofundme page was set up by Cape Naturaliste Volunteer Marine Rescue Group skipper Dominic Windlake.

The page has received close to $10,000.

“I trust that guy with my life,” Mr Windlake said.

“He puts so much into the community and he’s lost his livelihood, we would do anything for him,”

Mr Breslandsaid he was touched by the support he had received from the community.

“I loved that car. I couldn’t bear to look at it,” he said.

“I feel very fortunate to live in the town that I do with such generous people around me.”

Dunsborough police are appealing for dash-cam footage of Cape Naturaliste Road and Eagle Bay Road between 2.30pm and 4pm on December 15.

Police said the investigation was ongoing with a need for witnesses to come forward.

To help reimburse Hammy for his lost tools you can donate here.

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