How low can you go? Thieves target Aylesbury charity’s vehicle

Marc Parfitt, co-ordinator at the Vale of Aylesbury Vineyard Church, with the van
Marc Parfitt, co-ordinator at the Vale of Aylesbury Vineyard Church, with the van

A charity which helps vulnerable people has been dealt a cruel blow by thieves.

The van used by the Aylesbury Vineyard Storehouse to collect and deliver food, clothes and furniture to impoverished people in need has had its 
starter motor stolen and wires cut.

It has left the church group hundreds of pounds out of pocket as they have had to pay for rental vans and repairs and meant valuable donation collections have been missed.

Mark Knight, the church’s community pastor, said: “How could someone disable a charity like that?

“Somebody has targeted a charity van that is well labelled and they have chosen to wreck it and spoil it for everybody.”

The group would usually deliver to around 12 addresses every day, as well as collecting from a similar number, and has been hiring vans to try and maintain its schedule.

However, it has been a strain on the charity and repairs to the van, which are due to take place later this week, are expected to cost £500, in addition to £200 spent on renting vans.

Mr Knight said: “The starter motor itself probably costs £80.

“If they had come to us we would have given them £80 if they were that desperate.

“Often the crime causes far more harm than the value of the item stolen and that is certainly the case here.

“It was a very unwelcome theft and it has inconvenienced us greatly.”

The theft from the Gatehouse Close site was first discovered on April 15.

The church believes the theft may have taken place on Sunday, April 14, but are not certain.

Police were called to the scene and have appealed for people who may have seen anyone behaving suspiciously near the site to call 101.

The Storehouse is supported by around 40 volunteers who help to collect, sort and deliver donations within a 10-mile radius for free.