A landlord thought there was something a little bit strange about the Furphy water tank they saw in their tenant’s shed.
The homeowner had visited the Shepparton property for routine repairs at the home last year when they spotted the historic Furphy tank.
When they mentioned the tank to some friends, the landlord realised they might have inadvertently spotted some hot property.
Furphy water tanks, if well preserved, can fetch a pretty penny for collectors who want to own a unique piece of historic Australiana.
The tanks, manufactured by Shepparton’s Furphy family company were first manufactured in the 1880s and even had a place on the front line for Aussie troops fighting in World War I.
This tank had a particular place at Furphy Park in MacIntosh St, before it was stolen in August 2016.
At the time of the midnight robbery, former Greater Shepparton City Council infrastructure director Steve Bowmaker said it would not have been easy to steal.
‘‘The ends and the tank lid are all made of cast iron with a rolled galvanised barrel,’’ Mr Bowmaker said last year.
‘‘This really is a low act, it was a popular fixture at the park and reminded people of our local history.’’
After a tip-off from the landlord, police spoke to Kyle McLeigh about the theft and he made a full admission.
McLeigh, 34, faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court yesterday, pleading guilty to a number of charges, including drug driving, unlicensed driving, drug possession, as well as the theft of the tank.
Defence lawyer Alex McLennan told the court his client was taking care of his four children after the recent death of his partner.
‘‘He hasn’t worked since his partner’s passing,’’ Mr McLennan said.
Magistrate Stella Stuthridge said it was clear he had been through some tragedy.
McLeigh’s licence was cancelled for six months and he was fined $1500.
No conviction was recorded.