Care home minibus is latest target of metal thieves

A residential care home bus is the latest target of heartless metal thieves hoping to gain a few quid by stealing expensive car parts.

The vehicle, which belongs to the Parkside Residential Home for the Elderly based in Main Road, Romford had its catalytic converter stolen by callous thieves costing the vulnerable residents �250.

The converter has now since been replaced and Chief Executive of Parkside Residential Home Michael Armstrong said: “Its appalling that anyone would harm these vulnerable people that really appreciate their getting about. It’s really shocking”

The elderly residents rely on the van to keep them active Mr Armstrong said: “If we wern’t able to use the van then none of the residents would be able to go to church on Sunday or bowling on a Thursday or many of the other trips we organise daily”

He added: “The van is critical to their well-being and now the residents are paying to get that fixed instead of using the money on things that they genuinely enjoy like getting out and about”

The thieves target the converters which contain expensive metals which can be melted down and sold for a high price to scrap metal dealers.

The white van is just the latest target in a metal theft crimewave that has included the theft of lead from the roof of St Andrews Church, Hornchurch on nine occasions.

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In March the copper Jack Cornwell plaque was stolen from the national memorial cottages in Station Lane, Hornchurch. This was replaced on Friday November 4 in time for remembrance day thanks to local residents and businesses clubbing together.

Havering police have recently led a taskforce named Operation Ram started to combat the sale of stolen metal to the numerous scrap metal merchants based in Rainham.

Anyone with any information should contact Havering Police on: 101