When Darren McKittrick saw his garage had been broken into on the weekend he felt sick.
His beloved red AC Cobra motor vehicle, one of only a small number of its kind in Australia, had been stolen.
"It was the car I had wanted since I was 20 years old," Mr McKittrick said.
"I got it five years ago. It's my dream car."
The latest figures from ACT Policing show 833 vehicles were stolen in Canberra last year.
But the category of crime which leaves families in a tangled mess of catching public transport and dealing with insurance companies has been generally trending downward for the past five years.
Vehicle theft peaked in 2010 when 1670 were stolen, followed by 1014 in 2011, 1148 in 2012, 762 in 2013 and 833 in 2014.
The 45-year-old Palmerston real estate agent is now hoping the thieves will find it too difficult to sell the car, or its parts, and leave it safely somewhere in Canberra where it can be recovered.
The Cobra could be legally driven on the road.
"Leave it on the side of the road somewhere and walk away from it," was Mr McKittrick's advice.
The challenges for thieves to offload the vehicle were numerous. Apart from its distinctive appearance, Mr McKittrick said if the burglars wanted to sell the car with another engine they would need it certified by an engineer to ensure it was roadworthy.
"And I've done little bits and pieces [of work] to it over the years I've owned it," he said.