One moment his car was in the driveway with the heaters blaring to de-ice the windscreen - next it was gone.
That was the miserable start to Friday for Toby Mildren who had his 4WD stolen as he dashed back inside to kiss his partner and baby son goodbye before work, leaving his key in the ignition.
The car, emblazoned with Camp Quality charity stickers, is used as a support car in the charity's annual rally, the Camp Quality EsCarpade, which raises money for kids with cancer.
"Yeah it had the event stickers on it," he said. "A big one across the windscreen which says official vehicle, a Camp Quality logo on the bonnet, and some more on the sides."
Mr Mildren reported the theft to ACT Police early on Friday and has high hopes the distinctive car will turn up soon.
The 2013 blue Toyota Hilux dual cab 4WD is kitted out for the 2188km event from Port Maquarie to Toowomba.
The Toyota is a daily work car, but has been fitted with first aid, safety and recovery equipment including towing straps, winches and belts to tow entrant's cars out of a bog.
Mr Mildren and his partner, who volunteers as the event's on-road nurse, give their time for free during the annual week long event and donate the cost of the trip in fuel back to the charity.
The car is insured but Mr Mildren said beyond the cost and hassle, it was the thought of letting others down and not being able to take part that was worst.
"This is my fifth year doing it," he said. "It would be pretty annoying to have to miss it."
Leaving the car unattended on his battleaxe driveway is not something Mr Mildren had ever thought twice about, until now.
"We'd do that most mornings, without thinking," he said. "Obviously now it has happened we won't be."
ACT Police has warned Canberrans to think ahead and take steps to avoid being easy targets.
"Theft is often an opportunistic crime," she said. "If you are using the defogger, sit in the stationary vehicle. Do not leave your keys in the vehicle or your vehicle unattended while defrosting your windows."
Patrols are keeping an eye out for the stolen Hilux.
If you see the vehicle or have any information about its whereabouts, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via the ACT Crime Stoppers website. Information can be provided anonymously.
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