Fuel thieves damage kids’ bus

Off road: The minibus
Off road: The minibus
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A school for deaf children whose mini-bus was damaged by fuel thieves have been flooded with offers of help.

Children at Royal Cross Primary School on Elswick Road, in the Larches area of Preston, rely on a minibus to take them on trips as part of their learning.

But they were left devastated after thieves drilled a hole in the bus’s petrol tank to steal fuel on Tuesday, rendering the mini bus useless and youngsters unable to travel.

After police issued an appeal for help in catching the vandals, the school has received calls from people offering donations to help get the beleaguered bus back on the road.

Four have pledged money, another has found them a replacement fuel tank and a mechanic has offered to repair the damage.

Deputy headteacher Jean Cockerill said they were touched by people’s generosity after the incident, the second time the bus has been targeted.

She said: “The publicity after the theft did us a world of good.

“It’s quite amazing to see everyone’s kindness after being so sad and disappointed.

“The next job will be to look at how we can keep the minibus safe.”

PC Lawrence Thorniley, community beat manager for Larches and Savick, said: “It is appalling that the school has been targeted in this way.

“Sadly the school is a repeat victim.

“During these days of financial constraint the school has very difficult decisions to make and this setback may result in the school having to part with the vehicle due to lack of funds for the repair and other running costs.

“I’d appeal to anybody with any information about this offence to come forward and contact Lancashire Police on 101.”