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Meals on no wheels as thieves hit Wolverhampton vans

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Meals on wheels vans were left stranded at their Wolverhampton base today after thieves targeted them – and stole their wheels.

Five of the vans used to deliver hot meals to people across the city were left damaged after the raid at the adult training centre in Stowheath Lane, Bilston, last night.

A windscreen of one of the vehicles was also smashed during the attack which was branded as "heartless" by authority bosses.

The theft was discovered when staff turned up for work this morning.

However despite the vandalism, council bosses confirmed that the 230 hot meals and afternoon teas set to be delivered to older and vulnerable people across the city this afternoon would still be sent out.

Councillor Steve Evans, Wolverhampton City Council's cabinet member for adult services, said today: "These heartless actions could have caused major disruptions to our Meals on Wheels service, potentially leading to some older or vulnerable people being unable to receive their hot meals."

Tina Lauchlan, operations manager for Wolverhampton City Council's catering services, added: "The compound was locked up at around 3pm yesterday and the vandalism was discovered when our staff arrived on site early this morning.

"In total, five Ford Connect vans were attacked, with all four wheels being removed from four of them and two wheels taken from the other. One of the vans also had its windscreen smashed. There may also be some damage to the undercarriages where the vehicles have been lifted up in order for the wheels to be removed.

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"Fortunately, we have another three vehicles in the fleet available to us and, because it is the Easter holidays, we have also been able to draft in vehicles which would ordinarily have been used to deliver catering services to local schools which will enable us to continue to provide the service over the next few days until the vehicles are repaired."

The meals on wheels delivery service operates throughout the year including Christmas Day.

The service was relaunched at the start of November when the council spent

£50,000 fitting its fleet of delivery vehicles with ovens. By the end of the year the number of people who signed up more than doubled.

Police are investigating the incident.

Witnesses, or anyone with information, should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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