POLICE have no leads but social media is doing its bit to help New South Wales wool grower Paul Cocking find his missing ram.
Last Friday night, just days after Paul — aka @Waggapaul — failed in a bid to regain a seat on the Australian Wool Innovation board, thieves detached his metal ram-shaped mailbox from its steel pole.
Since Paul reported the theft to Holbrook police, his Twitter plea for help has had nearly 700 retweets and more than 455 likes, plus some Facebook shares by friends. And then there were the comments …. some helpful and others just trying to be funny, but all driving his call for help across the Twittersphere.
“One of the best mailboxes ever! I hope ewe get it back. Baaa stards indeed” said Ann Sproule and Mick H suggested “I bet they are holding it for RAMson.”
Shaun the Sheep also got a run, with Quiet Australian Robot tweeting a GIF of Shaun characters on a train with the comment “Suspects located but approach with caution.”
Ian Graves suggested trying Cash Converters, while Sofia Prussia thought trail cameras might have helped. Tammy queried whether a GPS tracker could have been useful.
Animal (*Farm) offered a GIF of running sheep dogs with the comment “Cue the detectives” and Simon Evans tweeted “We’re on the case! Hope you get it back.” with a GIF of Jim Carrey’s Ace Ventura Pet Detective character getting mobile.
John Donegan blamed the “bloody swagman” and Vern Veitch said “the grass was greener on the other side”. Then there were the Kiwi jokes – “Do you have any Kiwi friends who can do a ring around,” Murrumba asked.
But there were also many well-wishers and admirers of the mailbox creation, including JanethePain’s suggestion “How about sending out a memo to all semi rural and rural postie rounds and contractors, and offer a reward for the location of this masterpiece.”
The thieves used an angle grinder to free the ram from its metal pole and Josh Gillies rightly took umbrage at this action on Twitter – “Still can’t believe they used an angle grinder in such terrible fire conditions!!!,” he tweeted.
Paul reported the theft to police as occurring sometime between 10pm Friday night November 29 and 6am the next morning.
“It had mail in it too,” he said.
The mailbox was located beside the Holbrook-Wagga Wagga Road about 12 kilometres from Mangoplah, beside the driveway to his property Kaloona.
The handmade ram was constructed by Paul’s friend Allan Langfield, is valued at about $1000 and had been up about three years. Paul is thinking now he could have had a GPS tracker or some other form of identification on it.
“If I get him to make me another one, I’ll cement it in with a great big pole and make it so heavy that no one can take it.
“I’m just disappointed that people can act that way.”
He is hopeful the social media exposure will make it difficult to sell the ram or display it.
Anyone with a tip about the ram’s location should call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.