Felixstowe: Thieves target FACTS charity for second time

BOSSES of a dial-a-ride project for the elderly and housebound are today appealing for help to find secure premises for its vehicles after they were attacked for a second time in six weeks.

Thieves stole the catalytic converter from a Peugeot people carrier parked next to the FACTS (Felixstowe Area Community Transport Service) offices in Garrison Lane car park at Felixstowe.

They crawled under the vehicle and are believed to have used a battery-operated hacksaw to cut the converter off the exhaust.

In August, raiders left a repair bill of nearly �2,000 after stealing the same equipment from beneath two mini-buses and putting the service out of action for two days.

The offenders have been branded as “despicable” and “heartless” – and police have appealed for public help to catch them.

FACTS boss Bob Nice said the charity could no longer afford to leave its vehicles where they have been parked for more than a decade – and must find secure premises off-road as soon as possible.

“They’ve struck twice in a matter of weeks and the one thing we can be sure of is that they will come back time and time again,” he said.

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“We cannot afford to keep paying for these repairs, and putting up with the inconvenience. “This is a despicable crime. We are a non-profit making organisation and we cannot afford to keep paying – in this case �278 – for repairs caused by thieves.”

Mr Nice, a former police officer, said since the last incident the mini-buses had been kept at a locked compound.

Police said the theft happened between 7pm last Friday and 9am on Monday and appealed for anyone who saw the vehicles being tampered with, or had been offered catalytic converters, to call Sergeant James Harper on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. A link between the thefts could not be ruled out.

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