An Aberdeen charity co-founder has spoken of her “devastation” after thieves drilled holes into the diesel tank of their minibus.
Staff at Create Aberdeen were shocked to discover their vehicle was targeted while parked overnight in the car park of Hilton Community Centre on Thursday evening, inset.
The charity, which helps around 100 adults a week, says some of the people who use the service have been unable to attend their usual drama, art and music activities, as a result of the cruel act.
Maree Adams, co-founder of the charity, said she was “devastated” to learn of the incident, which has been reported to police.
She said: “We came to pick up the bus on the Friday and there were two holes in the fuel tank so we couldn’t go anywhere with it.
“It causes disruption to our services because people rely on the bus. It had an impact because some people couldn’t come and our staff were run ragged picking them up.
“It’s really important to our organisation to be able to provide transport.
“We were devastated obviously.”
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But Maree has been overwhelmed by the response of the public, with one garage owner even coming forward to fix the vehicle free of charge.
She said: “Initially we thought we would have to go through insurance.
“However, the response from the public has been amazing and a man called Alan Watt from Rosebank Garage said he would fix the bus for free.
“Somebody else donated a fuel pump and a Scout group offered us a shot of their bus as well.
“We’re also in the process of doing fundraising for a bus that is wheelchair accessible because the one we have isn’t.”
The bus has now been repaired and Create Aberdeen hopes to have it back today.
The charity, which was formed in 2010 after several day centres for adults with additional support needs closed, runs activities from Monday to Friday at Airyhall, Inchgarth and Hilton community centres in the city.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We can confirm inquiries are being carried out into the theft of fuel from a Ford Transit minibus parked on Hilton Road in Aberdeen.
“The incident happened between 4.30pm on Thursday November 14 and 8.30am on Friday November 15.
“Anyone with information can contact police on 101.”