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Charity is hit by bus raiders

THIEVES have ransacked a charity’s Fordbridge headquarters – trashing the offices and driving off with two minibuses.

THIEVES have ransacked a charity’s Fordbridge headquarters – trashing the offices and driving off with two minibuses.

The break-in happened at Community Transport’s Chapelhouse Road premises on Tuesday night. As well as the vehicles, the culprits snatched computers, cameras and other digital equipment.

An employee discovered the damage on Wednesday morning – the kitchen area had been wrecked, phones had been ripped out and the thieves had urinated on desks.

Community Transport bosses are now speaking to their insurance company as they wait to find out the total cost of the theft and vandalism.

David Peplow, general manager, said: “It was just a total shock and completely demoralising. But we’re determined to carry on. We’ve built up a real rapport with local people and we don’t want to let them down.”

The stolen minibuses – which had a combined value of more than £80,000 – were used by a number of community groups. One belonged to Community Transport itself, the second was owned by another local charity – Solihull Life Opportunities (SoLO).

Designed and bid for by members with learning disabilities, the SoLO bus had only been in use for eight months.

“The members are going to be so upset,” said Janet Down, the organisation’s general manager. “Our minibus had been specially adapted for people with disabilities.”

A police spokeswoman said one bus had been recovered near to the Community Transport offices.

No arrests have been made at this stage, but anyone with information should call the burglary team at Solihull pol­ice station on 0845 113 5000.

If you can help in any way, call Community Transport on 0121 779 5547 or SoLO on 0121 788 3469.

 

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