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The Breakdown: ‘Tiny Home’: Affordable, Stylish — but a Bit Too Easy to Steal

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A “tiny home” prototype was stolen from Canberra and driven more than 900 miles before the police recovered it.

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Facebook/Smartdeck, via Storyful

SYDNEY, Australia — Australia’s housing affordability crisis took a strange turn this week, after a woman’s “tiny home” was stolen from her Canberra business.

Less than 24 hours later, a man spotted the house — a luxurious take on a camper or caravan — in Kingaroy, northwest of Brisbane in the state of Queensland, already hundreds of miles away.

After seeing Facebook posts about the missing home, the man contacted the owner, who alerted the authorities. The police discovered the house even further down the road in a storage facility near Hervey Bay, more than 1,400 kilometers, or 900 miles, from where it was stolen. A 24-year-old man was arrested Wednesday, a police spokesman confirmed.

“Who steals a house?” said the home’s owner, Julie Bray. She said she prototyped and built the unit to attract customers to her timber business, and she intended to put it into mass-manufacturing by the end of the year — in part to respond to Australia’s increasingly unaffordable housing market.

Ms. Bray said she was shocked when it was confirmed that the house had made it to Queensland. It’s 3.7 meters, or 12 feet, tall and weighs nearly 1.5 tons.

“I can’t believe it. They drove it across the country, in broad daylight, and then parked it in a facility with CCTV cameras,” she said.

Though the 24-year-old man has been charged by the police in Queensland with bringing stolen property into the state, Senior Constable Troy Roberts of the Australian Capital Territory police said an investigation was continuing.

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