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Thieves snatch vital car parts from Colchester charity vans

PUBLISHED: 23:58 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 23:58 20 August 2018

The vans have been rendered unusable by the vandals and furniture collections have now been delayed. Picture: ST HELENA HOSPICE

The vans have been rendered unusable by the vandals and furniture collections have now been delayed. Picture: ST HELENA HOSPICE

Archant

A Colchester-based hospice was struck by criminals who stole crucial catalytic converters from their vans – rendering them useless.

The vans have been rendered unusable by the vandals and furniture collections have now been delayed. Picture: ST HELENA HOSPICEThe vans have been rendered unusable by the vandals and furniture collections have now been delayed. Picture: ST HELENA HOSPICE

The theft occurred around 1am on Monday, August 20, when two Luton vans owned by the St Helena hospice were broken into.

When staff arrived at the Stanway site yesterday morning they found the vans with side windows broken, bonnets open and exhaust pipes on the floor.

Catalytic converters control pollution from car exhausts using chemical reactions with precious metals such as platinum.

Chief executive Mark Jarman-Howe said: “We are gutted someone would cause criminal damage and steal from a local charity in this way and we apologise to our supporters because services will inevitably be disrupted.”

The vans have been rendered unusable by the vandals and furniture collections have now been delayed. Picture: ST HELENA HOSPICEThe vans have been rendered unusable by the vandals and furniture collections have now been delayed. Picture: ST HELENA HOSPICE

Ian Daniels, head of retail for the charity, added: “We will do our best to get both vans up and running as soon as possible but to those people who have booked a furniture collection this week, we will have to reschedule.

“The vans travel around the region on a daily basis moving donations between the various different stores across north Essex.

“With this unlikely to happen this week, it does mean that retail stock could be affected and we just ask that supporters bear with us.”

The staff and residents at a Felixstowe nursing home have been left in limbo after the company suddenly went into liquidation.

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