Staff at Wirral Hospice were devastated to discover that thieves had stolen the catalytic converter from the Hospice’s patient minibus on Mon 17 Mar 2014, leaving it off the road until it can be fixed.
This morning, the Hospice’s driver collected patients coming in for medical assessments and day therapy services as usual but something wasn’t quite right with the minibus so it was taken to a local garage to be checked out. The mechanics noticed straight away that the converter had been removed and it is being kept in until a new part can be delivered and fitted.
The night watchman on duty at the Hospice last night spotted someone lurking by the minibus but when he went to investigate the person ran off. As the watchman continued his security round, he spotted the person run back, pick something up from the ground before running off for good. Upon closer inspection, nothing seemed untoward with the minibus – its doors and windows were all in tact and no obvious attempt at a break-in.
CCTV is in operation at the Hospice but unfortunately it was too dark in the car park to get a good quality image of exactly what happened. The person spotted was male and in their twenties but it not known if they were working alone or there may have been others in the vicinity who were just not seen.
The police have been informed and will be investigating the matter but the Hospice is asking anyone that works in local garages to be aware of people asking for catalytic converters to be fitted as it could be related to the incident.
The minibus will be off the road for at least a day to get repaired, at considerable cost to the Hospice that should not have had to be spent. It will cost in the region of £1,200 to repair, which is significantly discounted by the garage. Unfortunately it needs to be fixed sooner rather than later, which means that the Hospice can’t really wait to see if someone would generously come forward to donate one. In the meantime, the Hospice also has to find and pay for other means of transport for its patients over the next few days.
Elaine Pugh, Outpatients Services Manager said: “It’s disgusting that someone would do this. Our patient minibus is a lifeline to patients who are critically ill and need to access the Hospice for care and support. I can’t believe someone would stoop so low as to steal from a Hospice without any thought to the impact and upheaval their theft would cause. It’s heartbreaking really.”
The Hospice is always grateful for any kind of support but if anyone would like to make a small donation specifically to help with the cost of replacing the catalytic converter they can do so by sending a cheque, made payable to ‘Wirral Hospice St John’s’ to:
Wirral Hospice St John’s
Patient Minibus Catalytic Converter
By texting ‘WHSJ77’ and an amount (£5 or more please) to 70070
Thank you in advance for any support you might be able to give!
Author: Teresa Nightingale