Christchurch charitable trust furious after wheelchair vans stolen overnight

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jun 07, 2023 |

Two wheelchair vans used to help residents with disabilities at a Christchurch charitable trust were stolen overnight leaving staff in shock.

Chris Ruth Centre Trust Chief Executive Officer Marilyn Paston told Chris Lynch Media when staff arrived at work this morning, both vans were missing.

They were stolen from the carpark between the tennis courts and Skate Park on Leacroft Street in Bishopdale.

Marilyn said a total of five wheelchair vans had now been stolen from the organisation.

The first incident happened in October last year, then in January, then two weeks ago, and then overnight.

“We really rely on these vans to get people out in the community, for vital therapy, to special events” Marilyn said.

“To replace one, takes a lot of time, effort and money and to find an appropriate wheelchair van is really hard.

It’s about $40,000 to buy a van and another $50,000 to get it fitted out. Our insurance can only cover so much.”

Marilyn said one of the vans stolen overnight had been located on Eden place in Bryndwr on Thursday morning.

“They have ripped out the ignition, and looks as if they used to the van to steal other items.”

A tow truck was called to bring the van back to the organisation.

A police spokeswoman confirmed that police received a report this morning of two vehicles stolen from Leacroft Street overnight.

“Police are following up to determine the circumstances.”

Van stolen this morning: Toyota Hiace AUZ695 and BMB745 (both white)

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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