Metal thieves target Havering charity bus

Vulnerable adults have been left stranded in their homes after thieves disabled a charity minibus twice in two weeks.

Now charity bosses want to find a new secure home for the vehicle to prevent it happening again.

Heartless crooks tore a catalytic convertor from a bus owned by mental health charity MIND two weeks ago.

The vehicle, parked in a Hornchurch church, is used to transport over-65s with mental health problems between their homes across the borough and day centres in Rainham and Harold Hill.

The �1,000 convertor was replaced last Friday (May 6), but thieves had struck again by Sunday morning, causing another �1,000-worth of damage.

The theft has meant around 45 residents have been unable to attend the charity’s day centres and the activities they provide.

For some users it is the only time the leave their homes all week.

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Havering MIND chief executive Vanessa Bennett said: “It’s so disappointing that a thoughtless person is able to take away a service from vulnerable and isolated people so easily.

“We hope a business might let us use their secure car park to park our bus to stop this from happening again.”

The theft of catalytic convertors, which contains precious metals that can be melted down and sold, is on the rise as the price of metals increases.

The incidents are the latest in a string of upsetting metal thefts.

Lead roofing has been twice torn from St Andrews Church, in Hornchurch – a listed building – in recent weeks.

The copper Jack Cornwell memorial plaque, which remembers a First World War boy-hero, was snatched in March.

Anyone with information on any of these thefts should contact Havering Police on: 0300 123 12 12.

Anyone who can help provide parking facilities should call Vanessa on: 01708 457040