School mini buses delivering essentials to Sunderland community during pandemic targeted by thieves

A Sunderland school providing food for vulnerable during the Covid-19 outbreak has been left devastated after its mini buses were targeted by thieves.

Monday, 13th July 2020, 4:00 pm
Updated Monday, 13th July 2020, 4:04 pm

St Aidan's Catholic Academy, on Willow Bank Road, has been delivering daily food parcels to members of the community in need using its two mini buses.

The school, which runs a community foodbank to support families and individuals, has been providing an essential service during the coronavirus pandemic by delivering supplies directly to people’s homes.

But the two buses are now out of action after they were targeted across two separate incidents.

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St Aidan's Catholic Academy caretaker Andy Kennerley with the mini buses that were damaged in an attempted theft.

The school said that wheels were taken off the buses over the course of last week and have cost £1,500 to replace.

The minibuses were then targeted again between 10pm on Saturday, July 11, and 3pm on Sunday, July 12.

Offenders cut the lock to the school’s gates and caused damage to two vehicles that were parked inside.

The school said the thieves targeted the steering column of the buses, causing an estimated £3,000 worth of damage.

St Aidan's Catholic Academy caretaker Andy Kennerley with the mini buses.

Senior assistant head Gemma Hogg said: “We use the mini buses to deliver food parcels every day to vulnerable families, so when they are out of action it makes the process of doing this more difficult.

“At this time staff are so busy preparing for the school for September so that students can return safely – as well as providing for families in need – so this is something that we could really have done without."

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A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “Shortly after 3pm on Sunday, July 12, we received a report of an attempted theft of minibuses at St Aidan’s Catholic Academy in Sunderland.

St Aidan's Catholic Academy Caretaker Andy Kennerley with the mini buses following the attempted theft.

“It was reported that between 10pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday offenders had cut the lock to the school’s gates and caused damage to two vehicles that were parked inside.

“An investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact us via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101 quoting log 655 120720.”

Any donations to the school’s foodbank are welcome.

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