Open House staff 'devastated' after theft of charity minibus

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Staff at Crawley Open House have been left “devastated” after thieves stole the homeless charity’s minibus.

The bus was parked outside the Open House premises in Stephenson Way, Three Bridges, on Saturday (December 9) and was stolen at 9.45pm.

Director Charlie Arratoon said CCTV footage showed three people breaking into the silver Transit Tourneo – registration HV12 VHR – before driving it away.

She added: “We’re just a little bit devastated. We’re an independent charity that struggles to help people and this makes life a lot harder.”

The nine-seater bus cost the charity more than £12,000 in December 2014 and is regularly used by the outreach team as well as for transporting people to and from appointments and to emergency housing placements.

With no public transport on Christmas Day, it is also used to ferry homeless people to the Open House Christmas dinner, something staff will now have to do with their own cars.

Charlie’s message to the thieves was clear: “Just think about the implications your actions have on other people, on other people’s lives at this cold time of year.

“It’s just so disruptive.”