Thieves make off in charity van loaded with equipment stolen from hand car wash business

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CHARITY workers have been left reeling after thieves stole their van and used it to burgle equipment from a hand car wash.

The theft happened overnight on Sunday when the Luton van belonging to the FRADE charity – Furniture Reclamation and Delivery Enterprise – was taken from Leadenhall Street.

The van was parked in the premises of the Easy Clean Valeting business next door which had agreed to house it after it was previously target by crooks.

The van is vital to FRADE which uses it to collect and deliver furniture to people in need across the borough.

The thieves filled it with equipment including pressure washers and steam cleaners from Easy Clean before making their escape.

David Regan, FRADE project manager, said there was shock all round when the volunteers realised it had been stolen.

He said: “We thought we were doing the right thing in keeping it off the streets, but they’ve still taken it.

“I don’t even think it was the van they wanted; they took expensive steam cleaning equipment from the car wash and I think they just saw our van as an easy way to make off with it.

“The whole idea of FRADE, which has been a charity for 20-years, is that we try to keep our costs down as much as possible so people in need can buy second hand furniture as cheap as possible.

“Now we are having to hire a van and this is obviously having an effect on us in terms of keeping costs down.

“If anyone sees the van please tell the police so that we can get it back; if it’s seen driving around Darlington people should know that it isn’t the FRADE lads who are driving it.”

The van is white and has Furniture Services printed across the side and FRADE across the front.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 and ask for PC Stew Walker.


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