DESPICABLE burglars stole a new mobility car which a couple use to transport their disabled young daughter to hospital for vital appointments.
The thieves got into Wendy Brook and Mark Harvey’s home, in Fordland Place, Pallion, before taking the keys to a specially-adapted £13,000 black Renault Clio Sport Tourer and driving off.
The couple only received the car four weeks ago and use it to take daughter Paige, three, who has a serious heart condition and Down’s Syndrome, to hospital appointments at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
The burglars also took a laptop, pushchair, Wendy’s purse which had £180 in and two car seats which were in the car.
Sunderland police have labelled the crime “despicable”.
Today, Paige’s family called on those responsible to hand the vehicle back. “We just can’t believe it,” said Mark, 40, who works part-time as a sports coach for South Tyneside Council.
“We can’t get a courtesy car from the insurance company until the police find it, even if it’s burnt out.
“They (the burglars) must have seen it was that type of car because it says mobility on the front and has disabled badges on.”
Paige, Mark and Wendy, and the couple’s son Euan, seven, were enjoying a quiet night in at home before the burglars struck.
After going to bed, Mark was awoken in the early hours on hearing the front door slam shut.
“I got up and looked out of the window and that’s when I saw the car had gone,” he said.
Sunningdale School pupil Paige was born with a defect, meaning she had to have open heart surgery not long after she was born.
The youngster has already had about 40 hospital visits this year, and is awaiting a date for another operation.
“The valve that the doctors made for her is leaking too much and it’s blocking one of her arteries so we are just waiting to see when needs to go in,” said Wendy, 46.
“She’s been in and out of hospital since she was born.”
Mark added: “Because of what happened we’ve had to carry Paige to an appointment, because even though has just learned to walk she isn’t well at the minute.”
Police are now hoping to track down those responsible.
Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Pickett said: “It can be seen that the car is quite obviously adapted for the family’s needs and the thieves stealing it will have known that.
“It’s despicable that they first of all burgled the family’s home, but then to steal the car which is vital for the family’s needs is beyond belief.
“We’re carrying out a number of enquires to trace witnesses, find the location of the car and the people responsible for the theft and I’d urge anyone with information to contact us as soon as possible.
“Anyone who sees suspicious activity in their neighbourhood should call contact police.”
The registration of the stolen Clio is NG12 VYW.
The burglary took place a