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Police investigating after disabled support service van stolen in Harold Hill found 'completely destroyed'

PUBLISHED: 17:00 17 October 2019

The Treetops minibus was stolen on Tuesday morning in Harold Hill and found 'completely destroyed' on Thursday. Pictures: Tracey Coombe

The Treetops minibus was stolen on Tuesday morning in Harold Hill and found 'completely destroyed' on Thursday. Pictures: Tracey Coombe

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A mini bus used by a Havering business which provides services for adults with learning disabilities has been found destroyed after being stolen in Harold Hill.

Tracey Coombe, founder of Treetops Day Project, reported the vehicle stolen on Tuesday (October 15) morning from Petersfield Close.

Tracey admitted she was left in tears after finding out about the theft of the Ford Transit vehicle.

She believes it was taken during the night from where it is stored.

The mini bus has since been found in Stapleford Abbotts, with Tracey adding: "It has been completely destroyed."

She said the whole of the engine is missing and the inside of the mini bus has been "ruined".

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Tracey founded Treetops, based in Rainham, in 2010 and it offers activities which can range from arts and crafts, dance and sensory sessions.

She said: "One young lady is very disabled.

"She has complex mobility issues and now has to stay at home as she needs the mobility step which was on the mini bus, and none of my other vehicles have this step.

"It has also restricted me being able to provide transport to respite.

"If the people who took my mini bus knew the impact stealing it has had emotionally and physically on the adults with learning disabilities, their parents and my staff, I would hope they would feel some sort of guilt for their actions."

Tracey, who said she will have to buy another bus, reported the theft to police on Tuesday morning.

When approached by the Recorder, a Met Police spokeswoman said: "We can confirm the theft of a vehicle and we are investigating."

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