THE driver of a hospice charity van has branded thieves ‘disgusting’ for stealing parts from the vehicle.
Dan Holton is a driver for The Rowans Hospice, and discovered a catalytic particulate filter had been stolen after a hazard light came on while he was driving.
The 31-year-old said: ‘I set off on Monday morning as usual and had completed my morning round and was heading back on the motorway when the van lost power.
‘I panicked and pulled over. The revs wouldn’t go past 2,000rpm so I drove it to the garage.
‘Richmond Citroen called me back later to tell us that the catalytic particulate filter had been hacked out.
‘It’s disgusting that someone has done this to a charity van – it’s money wasted on fixing the van which could have gone to help people.
‘Whoever has done this is the lowest of the low.
‘It’s very upsetting as it’s not the first time we’ve been targeted.
‘We’re having to lock the vans away in the warehouse overnight now.’
Repair costs came to £1,850, but Richmond Citroen, in Fitzherbert Road, Farlington, has agreed to carry out the work for £1,300.
Last year two vans were vandalised as their tyres were let down and windscreens smashed.
Anne Yendell, director of income generation and communications, said: ‘It’s hugely disappointing that some people specifically targeted The Rowans Hospice – and that they deliberately vandalised one of our vehicles with the direct aim of removing parts from the van which caused a danger to our drivers.
‘We subsequently have no use of the van and the significant cost of repairing it.
‘It’s such a shame as we get massive support from the community, it’s shocking that few people can cause such damage.’
The vans are used to transport furniture and other goods to and from the hospice’s warehouse in Marshlands Road, Farlington.
Catalytic filters are often targeted by thieves as the can contain valauble metal.
The incident happened over last weekend.
Anyone with information should call 101 and quote crime reference number 44150099338.