Minibus stolen from primary school then dumped once engine removed

A community minibus stolen from the grounds of a primary school has been recovered - but only after thieves removed its engine.

The minibus was stolen after thieves broke in with an angle grinder
The minibus was stolen after thieves broke in with an angle grinder

Two crooks used an angle grinder to shear through a gate and padlock to access the bus at Delves Junior School, on Thursday evening.

They bypassed the immobiliser of the bus and drove away within 10 minutes of breaking in.

The bus was found three miles away in West Bromwich the next day but not before its engine had been removed.

It means the children and charities that rely on it will be forced to find new methods of transport until a new engine can be found and installed.

The bus has since been found but without an engine

West Midlands Police is investigating and a force spokesman said the bus was being forensically examined and CCTV footage being checked.

A spokesman for the force said: "We're investigating after a mini bus was stolen from Delves Junior School, Bell Lane, Walsall, at about 9.40pm on Thursday.

"The vehicle was recovered in the Hill Top area of West Bromwich on Friday and will be forensically examined - CCTV footage is also being reviewed.

"Anyone with any information can contact us, via Live Chat, at west-midlands.police.uk, quoting investigation number 20/1800968/21, or call 101.

"Alternatively to pass on information while remaining 100 per cent anonymous, speak to independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

The bus is owned by Banners Gate Community Association and is fitted with a passenger lift and wheelchair anchor point to make it fully accessible.

Since March 2014 it has served three primary schools, two Scout groups, two Townswomen's Guilds and other users.

Delves Infants School has only only been a subscribing user since September, when teachers and support staff were trained to drive it while carrying their Therapy Dog who provides emotional support for children who need it.

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