Thieves target disabled bus

Vice chairman Gerry Dixon (left) and treasurer Derek Campbell with part of the abandoned exhaust system
Vice chairman Gerry Dixon (left) and treasurer Derek Campbell with part of the abandoned exhaust system

A BUS used to take disabled people on outings has been targeted by metal thieves.

The criminals caused about £2,000 worth of damage to the MORE Club’s specially adapted bus by removing a side window and stealing half the vehicle’s platinum exhaust. The remains of the exhaust were found abandoned in the bushes nearby.

The club holds meetings for disabled Eastbourne residents twice a month and takes members on regular outings in the bus. But with the vehicle out of action, many of the housebound residents will not be able to attend the club’s activities.

Lin Hodson, MORE Club chairman, said committee members were ’gutted’ -describing the thieves as ‘morons’.

She said, “We are all shocked and I am totally disgusted to think they have done this to vulnerable and innocent people.

“The signs and paint work on the bus clearly show it is for disabled people so I can’t believe they would do this.

“These morons have caused such heartache with their stupidity. If we can’t get this fixed by next week, it will stop the members from going on their outing to Hickstead Racecourse for the show jumping.”

Gerry Dixon, the MORE Club’s vice chairman, said it was unlikely the repairs would be done by next week and the trip would probably have to be cancelled.

The bus was taken to the garage and Gerry was told other vehicles in the same area had also had precious metal stolen from exhausts around the same time.

Gerry believed there had been a spate of incidents and added, “The people who did this knew what they were doing because they managed to pop the window without smashing it and then abandoned the parts of the exhaust they didn’t want in the bushes – I think they were professionals.”

The club’s red Mercedes bus was targeted by the thieves between July 12 and July 20 while it was parked in Linden Court in Birch Road. Police have been notified about the metal theft and damage.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0845 60 70 999, quoting serial number EE3-065812-11.

Picture: Vice Chairman Gerry Dixon (left) and treasurer Derek Campbell with part of the abandoned exhaust system. E29262M