SCORES of elderly people have been left isolated without food and transport after suspected metal thieves stole parts from a charity’s minibuses.
The Free Press was told how staff at Age UK discovered that the exhausts from three minibuses parked in a locked compound at its site in Thorne Road were all taken.
The intruders are thought to have jumped over a wall at the charity’s base to get to the vehicles during the break-in which is said to have happened at some point over the weekend.
Derek Broughton, office manager for the charity, said the vehicles were used for workers to transport freshly cooked meals and provide help and support to up to 50 elderly people across the borough.
He said: “This break-in means we can’t transport the elderly people to and from places they need to go, they won’t be able to have their meals delivered either whilst the minibuses are being repaired.
“They’ll have to be left to their own devices because we can’t provide our service.
“At this time of year they need that service, we help them in their every day jobs.
“We’re worried that the thieves could also come back again.
“We’re having to go through our insurers to see how much repairs will cost, we’re not sure how much that will be yet.
“Whether they’ve done it to use the scrap metal and sell it, we don’t know but we’ve told the police.
“It’s a difficult time as it is for charities but with this on top, it just makes things worse.”
Following the discovery on Monday morning the vehicles were taken away for repairs.
Police figures revealed that 1,000 metal thefts have taken place in Doncaster in ten months.
During that time, thieves have stolen lead from numerous church roofs and metal from railway stations.
Members of the Royal British Legion were also in uproar after discovering the bronze sword at the war memorial in Bennetthorpe was damaged in a botched theft attempt before Christmas.