Wrecked property leaves police shocked

Lance Musgrave surveys the trail of damage at his Frankford property   after  vandals   broke into an excavator and  ran amok. Picture: MARK JESSER

Lance Musgrave surveys the trail of damage at his Frankford property after vandals broke into an excavator and ran amok. Picture: MARK JESSER

WHEN the rain came there was nowhere left to go.

Not for Lance and Jeanette Musgrave, whose Frankford residence had been reduced to a trail of destruction.

On Monday night somebody climbed into the couple’s rented excavator and took a wrecking ball to the property.

The targeted 30-minute attack has left the place looking like a ‘‘war zone’’ according to police.

The couple were already reeling from an apparently accidental house fire several weeks ago.

Vandals on an excavator destroyed what was left of a Frankford home that had been damaged by fire. Picture: Mark Jesser

Vandals on an excavator destroyed what was left of a Frankford home that had been damaged by fire. Picture: Mark Jesser

This had left standing the remnants of a home  –  two large sheds, manicured gardens, trees, fencing, a water tank, a sun room.

These were the foundations the Musgraves were using to rebuild their life on the hobby farm until Monday’s bizarre incident.

A shocked Mr Musgrave said the  destruction would cost him $50,000 while police believe the totalled excavator - left dumped in a water tank- could cost twice that.

‘‘[The police] were in shock, they were actually in shock,’’ he said.

‘‘The person or persons responsible are out there in the community , the local community, and we’re horrified at that.

‘‘How do you [continue]?’’

Vandals on an excavator destroyed what was left of a Frankford home that had been damaged by fire. Picture: Mark Jesser

Vandals on an excavator destroyed what was left of a Frankford home that had been damaged by fire. Picture: Mark Jesser

Mr Musgrave said he didn’t know what prompted the attack however he would be moving his livestock in case the culprit returned.

The couple have been living there for nine years carrying out home improvements, growing vegies and tending to livestock.

Last month’s fire, deemed to have been caused by an electrical fault, gutted most of the home.

Yesterday when the rain came down there wasn’t even an awning to take refuge under.

‘‘To think you have something left [after the fire] and then,’’ Mrs Musgrave said staring at the wreckage.

Northern forensic police attended the property yesterday to inspect the excavator which had become entangled in wire fencing.

Northern CIB acting Inspector Ruth Orr said the placed looked like a ‘‘war zone’’.

Vandals on an excavator destroyed what was left of a Frankford home that had been damaged by fire. Picture: Mark Jesser

Vandals on an excavator destroyed what was left of a Frankford home that had been damaged by fire. Picture: Mark Jesser

‘‘It appears perhaps the person responsible knew what they were doing in terms of being able to operate an excavator to cause that amount of damage in a fairly short space of time,’’ she said.

‘‘It’d have to be something of a targeted plan.’’

Detectives are investigating the incident and have called for any witnesses or people with information to come forward.

The crime took place sometime between 11.30pm and midnight on Monday.

Detective Orr said the excavator would have been loud and an orange siren on its top would have been activated at the time.

Anybody with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800333000 or Tasmania Police on 131444.

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