Felixstowe: FACTS buses forced off road after thieves steal catalytic converters

CHARITY chiefs have today hit out at thieves whose mean actions have put a vital lifeline for the elderly and housebound out of use.

The offenders were branded as “despicable” after stealing two catalytic converters from mini-buses belonging to the FACTS dial-a-ride transport service at Felixstowe.

The raid meant the service, which provides trips for hundreds of people who would have no other way of reaching appointments, going shopping or seeing friends, has been off the road for two days this week.

The repairs will cost around �1,800 and the organisation is today seeking secure parking for its vehicles.

FACTS boss Bob Nice said: Someone crawled underneath the offside of the vehicles and removed the catalytic converters. These two vehicles are owned by the county council and are a very important part of our operations – they will cost around �900 each to repair.

“This is a despicable crime. We are a non-profit making organisation and it has hit the service we provide for people who are housebound and cannot otherwise get out and about.”

Mr Nice, a former police officer, said FACTS is seeking secure parking for the vehicles and was appealing for someone with a locked compound to come forward to help.

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“Now it has happened once, it will happen again,” he said. “It’s a real shame because this is a project for the community and the vehicles have always been safe here on the car park.”

The theft happened between 6pm last Thursday and 8am on Friday.

Police have appealed for anyone who saw anything suspicious to contact Sergeant James Harper on 01473 613500.

? Anyone who has a secure parking area which might be suitable for the FACTS vehicles should contact Bob Nice on 01394 282857.