Leo Fernandez-Cao with the gun safe from his bedroom and the burnt remains of his house at Takura.
Leo Fernandez-Cao with the gun safe from his bedroom and the burnt remains of his house at Takura. Alistair Brightman

Victim of house fire intends to rebuild on Takura property

A TAKURA man who was the victim of a planned burglary and arson attack at the weekend says he refuses to let "the mongrels" get to him.

Leo Cao, a veteran sporting clay shooter, lost everything he owned when his house went up in flames at 4.50am on Saturday.

But he is determined to rebuild on the block of land on Torbanlea-Pialba Rd that had been his home for 20 years.

He said he couldn't understand why, after breaking in and stealing four firearms from a safe, the burglar decided to torch his house.

"That's all they took - four guns and a small safe with nothing in it," he said.

"There was a stamp collection, a family heirloom, on top of that safe that was worth more than the house.

"There was also a brand new laptop there."

That night Mr Cao was staying at the Fraser Coast Sporting Clays grounds at Dundathu, ahead of a state competition he was co-ordinating.

"I got the call around 5am," he said.

"By the looks of it (the burglar) knew I wasn't at home and that I had guns inside the house.

"They were all properly secured - it was a purpose-built safe bolted to the floor."

Mr Cao will be staying with his sister, who lives in a house at the back of the same property, until he is able to rebuild.

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Guild said investigations continued and anyone with any information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Firearms taken

  • .177 air rifle
  • .22 rifle
  • two shotguns
  • small amount of ammunition
  • small portable safe (empty)


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