COFFS Harbour police are investigating whether an underage driver stole a utility from an Orara Valley property, crashed it into a tree and then fled.
A resident on Upper Orara Rd contacted police just after 1pm to report they saw a youth, aged in his early teens, acting suspiciously on a neighbouring property.
The witness said the teenager gained entry to the four-wheel-drive and drove off.
The vehicle in question was found a short time later crashed into a gum tree, about three kilometres from the Coramba Rd intersection.
Police were given a description of the offender, who was reportedly seen hitchhiking from the accident scene.
Officers investigating the theft interviewed witnesses at the scene and staff at the Karangi General Store.
Anyone with information, who may be able to assist police is urged to contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or Coffs Harbour Police on 6652 0299.