By DEBORAH GOUGH
A limousine lent to transport a team of sporting celebrities, including former cricketer Shane Warne, to a charity poker night was stolen from outside a restaurant while they were eating – and then crashed.
The celebrities had been due to attend a charity poker night for the National Breast Cancer Foundation on Wednesday at the Sphinx Hotel, in Geelong, Victoria, Australia on Wednesday night.
Poker professional Tony Hachem, ex-footballers Billy Brownless, Brendan Fevola and Robert DiPierdomenico, and Geelong captain Joel Selwood were all at the charity event.
Both the Sphinx and Fishermen’s Pier are owned by the Ramia family in Geelong.
Police say the white limousine was stolen from outside the seafood restaurant about 6.30pm when the driver left the car “unattended for a short time” on Eastern Beach Road.
George Ramia told the Geelong Advertiser the cars were donated for the event.
“The poor guy [the driver] just has come into the restaurant to pick us up, gone out there and it’s gone,” Ramia said.
“What can you say about that?” he said.
Geelong car hire company Murrell Group had donated two limousines for the charity event.
The cars were expected to take part in a red carpet event at the Sphinx later that night.
Murrell went on a social media hunt for the stolen car.
“Can everyone please keep an eye out for this white Superstretch Chrysler Limousine. It was stolen from Fishermans Pier not that long ago. It has been spotted in Whittington and the ring road going towards Melbourne after being reported to the Police. Please keep an eye out it has coloured lights down the side. Please let us know if anyone sees anything. Thanks in advance!”
Police found the limo, crashed, about 21:00 hrs last night some 20km from Geelong.
Photographs of the limo show significant damage to the nose of the car. The company released a thank you message about the car.
“Our vehicle has been found in Lara, a bit battered and bruised but still alive,” it said. (stuff.co.nz)