Wheels for kids go missing

June 8, 2017

Wheels for kids go missing

A spokesperson says the stolen van is similar to the one pictured but in “a pale yellow/vanilla colour”. Photo: Supplied

Schoolchildren are missing out on scheduled activities after a community van was stolen last month.

The 4 Kids & Whanau Community Centre in Glenfield looks after children outside school hours and relied on the missing vehicle to transport students.

Spokesperson and centre co-ordinator Glenda Hopkins said the theft affected many of the kids.

“The children rely on the van and the childcare to get in to the community and discover their community.

“As a childcare we do a lot of trips because we believe children should know their environment and understand their environment.”

However, Ms Hopkins said the kids’ programme was disrupted and trips had to be cancelled after the van was stolen.

“It is hurtful that we give so much and somebody just takes it away – with no thought.

“When people take things from a trust like ours, they push what we do as a community backwards.”

Ms Hopkins said it was difficult to understand the motive of the thieves.

“I don’t know why they needed the van, they could have asked and we have could have loaned it to them.”

Ms Hopkins said the centre had been encouraged by support from the community and parents who provided their own cars to transport children to the centre after school.

Parents have expressed their annoyance through a Facebook community page.

Ms Hopkins said the organisation has been working closely with the police to investigate CCTV footage of the van being taken.

Senior Sergeant Andrew Burdett of North Shore Police confirmed the van was reported stolen on May 10.

Police believe the thieves may have replaced at least one of the registration plates on the vehicle and are appealing for more information from members of the public.

Local resident Lattrell Sapon said Glenfield was ordinarily safe, but after a stolen van and bank robbery in the same week,  he was starting to become concerned.

“I feel scared, to be honest. It can happen any time in the area.”

Ms Hopkins said a Givealittle page had been set up to raise funds for a new van.

She said insurance would fund $35,000 and the centre hoped to raise $15,000, as the van would need to be replaced.

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