Travellers get ill after catalytic converter stolen

Bournemouth Echo: Brenda Clark, founder of the Youth Cancer Trust with some of the young guests with the minibus that has been vandalised Brenda Clark, founder of the Youth Cancer Trust with some of the young guests with the minibus that has been vandalised

Callous thieves who stole valuable parts from a cancer charity’s minibus put at risk the health of already vulnerable youngsters.

“Unbelievable” was the reaction of Youth Cancer Trust volunteers to the vandalism of one of their clearly branded minibuses.

The £2,500 catalytic converter and 12ft of exhaust pipe was removed from the eight-seater bus, which is used to take youngsters on outings from the Alum Chine holiday home and for fundraising purposes.

But it was not until eight cancer sufferers were taken ill, on a trip to Salisbury to have some go-karting fun, that it came to light.

“On the way there the young people were complaining of a fishy smell and of feeling sick,” said Georgie Hillman, Youth Cancer support worker. “They got back – some of them are very vulnerable healthwise – and when they got out one vomited immediately.”

It was not until an RAC patrol man examined the vehicle that they realised what had caused the problem.

“Someone had sawn off the catalytic converter and the exhaust and stolen it,” she said.

That had caused exhaust fumes to pour through the air-conditioning system of the year-old VW bus, poisoning them.

“I can’t believe someone would have the audacity to do that to a cancer charity,” said Georgie. “It is putting young people’s health at more risk when they are already vulnerable.

“It’s dreadful.” Founder Brenda Clark said: “It ruined their holidays.

“One girl was still being sick on Friday when she went home. It has knocked their confidence.”

The minibus parked outside Tracy-Ann House must have been targeted at night for the value of its catalytic converter, which contains precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium.

“It’s the pits,” said support worker Peter Guest. “That £2,500 is about what it costs to have eight young people to stay here for a week.”

As a result of the theft the charity will have to pay the £400 insurance excess and is likely to face a hike in its premium. But while the smaller minibus provided by the Bournemouth Mayor’s charity appeal and Qualcomm is still out of action while they wait for it to be repaired, they can use their larger minibus supplied by LV=.

• See youthcancertrust.org for more information about the charity.

Comments (25)

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9:07am Sat 2 Jun 12

Avengerboy says...

Unfortunately sentencing in this country is not a deterrent to crime. A lack of 'consequences' education doesn't help either.
Unfortunately sentencing in this country is not a deterrent to crime. A lack of 'consequences' education doesn't help either. Avengerboy

10:34am Sat 2 Jun 12

Reader Echo says...

I thought that if a twelve foot length of exhaust was missing from this vehicle it would sound like a tank as soon as the engine was started, let alone drive it all the way from Alum Chine to Salisbury like it.

However, yes I think it is a terrible thing to happen. I also feel that this is a typical act where the punishment does not fit the crime.

We are now living in a country where a large percentile of the younger generation have no respect for authority, themselves or others. Furthermore many of them will leave school thick and be members of the un-employable benefits club, probably for life whilst producing more offspring just as they are.

Until governments in this country have the guts to tackle such problems we can only be sure of one thing: It will be getting worse before it gets better.
I thought that if a twelve foot length of exhaust was missing from this vehicle it would sound like a tank as soon as the engine was started, let alone drive it all the way from Alum Chine to Salisbury like it. However, yes I think it is a terrible thing to happen. I also feel that this is a typical act where the punishment does not fit the crime. We are now living in a country where a large percentile of the younger generation have no respect for authority, themselves or others. Furthermore many of them will leave school thick and be members of the un-employable benefits club, probably for life whilst producing more offspring just as they are. Until governments in this country have the guts to tackle such problems we can only be sure of one thing: It will be getting worse before it gets better. Reader Echo

11:34am Sat 2 Jun 12

Vikki27 says...

What on earth is wrong with people who do things like this??? it's bad enough that anyone would do it at all, but to target a charity vehicle is twisted.

Thank goodness they have another vehicle to use in the meantime but I'm sure it's an expense they could do without.
What on earth is wrong with people who do things like this??? it's bad enough that anyone would do it at all, but to target a charity vehicle is twisted. Thank goodness they have another vehicle to use in the meantime but I'm sure it's an expense they could do without. Vikki27

11:58am Sat 2 Jun 12

EGHH says...

You can buy a product called a CatLoc for about £100 from most main dealers. This is a armoured steel cage that bolts onto the chassis with the cat inside it. The bolts have to be drilled out which is both time consuming and noisy, which thieves do not want! We have fitted it to our vehicles. I suggest fitting one.
You can buy a product called a CatLoc for about £100 from most main dealers. This is a armoured steel cage that bolts onto the chassis with the cat inside it. The bolts have to be drilled out which is both time consuming and noisy, which thieves do not want! We have fitted it to our vehicles. I suggest fitting one. EGHH

12:00pm Sat 2 Jun 12

EGHH says...

If that is a Mercedes vehicle in the photo the Mercedes Commercial Vehicle outlet in Cabot Lane will supply and fit the CatLoc.
If that is a Mercedes vehicle in the photo the Mercedes Commercial Vehicle outlet in Cabot Lane will supply and fit the CatLoc. EGHH

12:22pm Sat 2 Jun 12

ekimnoslen says...

Thieves do not care what type of vehicle it is but one thing for sure is that banner headlines alerts persons of similar leanings to the possibilities of making a quick buck in the same way.
Thieves do not care what type of vehicle it is but one thing for sure is that banner headlines alerts persons of similar leanings to the possibilities of making a quick buck in the same way. ekimnoslen

1:34pm Sat 2 Jun 12

EGHH says...

I see its a VW vehicle which is 90% the same as a Mercedes. So the CatLoc will fit it.

http://www.catloc.eu
/
I see its a VW vehicle which is 90% the same as a Mercedes. So the CatLoc will fit it. http://www.catloc.eu / EGHH

4:13pm Sat 2 Jun 12

pete woodley says...

What a very despicable crime, how low can some get.
What a very despicable crime, how low can some get. pete woodley

4:43pm Sat 2 Jun 12

Arjay says...

Until there is PROPER regulation of ALL scrap metal dealings, with draconian penalties - including confiscation of assets - for those caught trading illegally, then this kind of crime will continue.

The theft of vital infrastucture cabling, along with the removal of metal memorial plaques, has been on the increase for some time.
Is anything done to deter these thieves?
No.
Remember, this kind of thief has no consideration for the consequences of their actions.
They only understand things that hit them around the head, or in the pocket.

I prefer the former, but that's not going to happen in our liberal 'fluffyland' so it would have to be the latter....
Until there is PROPER regulation of ALL scrap metal dealings, with draconian penalties - including confiscation of assets - for those caught trading illegally, then this kind of crime will continue. The theft of vital infrastucture cabling, along with the removal of metal memorial plaques, has been on the increase for some time. Is anything done to deter these thieves? No. Remember, this kind of thief has no consideration for the consequences of their actions. They only understand things that hit them around the head, or in the pocket. I prefer the former, but that's not going to happen in our liberal 'fluffyland' so it would have to be the latter.... Arjay

5:25pm Sat 2 Jun 12

Buzetti says...

I imagine the perpetrator came from a 'chaotic household' - we must sympathise - they can't help being thieves - it's society's fault, not theirs.
On the other hand, they may just be thick scum??
I imagine the perpetrator came from a 'chaotic household' - we must sympathise - they can't help being thieves - it's society's fault, not theirs. On the other hand, they may just be thick scum?? Buzetti

5:50pm Sat 2 Jun 12

boby says...

i take disabled adults to a day centre in salisbury, have also had my catalytic convertor cut of my mini bus. The vehicle transports them every day. I have also had my tyres let down five times, by a resident in parmiter way wimborne. Some resident does not like it, even though its completely legally taxed and parked. They leave threatening letters, and the last said i have been warned!!!. What do the police do???, less than nothing a joke. I hope the person reads this. Unfortunately i guess i have to live with it, and thats the problem. I guess the laughs on me.
i take disabled adults to a day centre in salisbury, have also had my catalytic convertor cut of my mini bus. The vehicle transports them every day. I have also had my tyres let down five times, by a resident in parmiter way wimborne. Some resident does not like it, even though its completely legally taxed and parked. They leave threatening letters, and the last said i have been warned!!!. What do the police do???, less than nothing a joke. I hope the person reads this. Unfortunately i guess i have to live with it, and thats the problem. I guess the laughs on me. boby

6:44pm Sat 2 Jun 12

markymark3 says...

boby wrote:
i take disabled adults to a day centre in salisbury, have also had my catalytic convertor cut of my mini bus. The vehicle transports them every day. I have also had my tyres let down five times, by a resident in parmiter way wimborne. Some resident does not like it, even though its completely legally taxed and parked. They leave threatening letters, and the last said i have been warned!!!. What do the police do???, less than nothing a joke. I hope the person reads this. Unfortunately i guess i have to live with it, and thats the problem. I guess the laughs on me.
Blame the human rights people, not the Police, they can't sit around and wait for something to happen as there's not enough of them to do that, and cameras can't be put up without breaching some sort of human rights now. I put a camera up to stop my own car getting damaged and had to take it down as it was facing the road, where my car was parked.
[quote][p][bold]boby[/bold] wrote: i take disabled adults to a day centre in salisbury, have also had my catalytic convertor cut of my mini bus. The vehicle transports them every day. I have also had my tyres let down five times, by a resident in parmiter way wimborne. Some resident does not like it, even though its completely legally taxed and parked. They leave threatening letters, and the last said i have been warned!!!. What do the police do???, less than nothing a joke. I hope the person reads this. Unfortunately i guess i have to live with it, and thats the problem. I guess the laughs on me.[/p][/quote]Blame the human rights people, not the Police, they can't sit around and wait for something to happen as there's not enough of them to do that, and cameras can't be put up without breaching some sort of human rights now. I put a camera up to stop my own car getting damaged and had to take it down as it was facing the road, where my car was parked. markymark3

7:08pm Sat 2 Jun 12

boby says...

They seem quick to get you when you do thirty five in a thirty, if i seem to remember by a camera. At the end of the end a crime has been committed.So what do you suggest???. Jokes on me
They seem quick to get you when you do thirty five in a thirty, if i seem to remember by a camera. At the end of the end a crime has been committed.So what do you suggest???. Jokes on me boby

7:20pm Sat 2 Jun 12

markymark3 says...

Pay more council tax so there's more Police on the street, support them as due to the cuts there's going to be less of them, and contact the Home Office and ask them to reduce the paperwork they have to do which again keeps them off the street. I've had to call them several times as I've had things damaged, and sometimes they don't come out, but instead of moaning about it with no substance, I've looked to find out why.
Pay more council tax so there's more Police on the street, support them as due to the cuts there's going to be less of them, and contact the Home Office and ask them to reduce the paperwork they have to do which again keeps them off the street. I've had to call them several times as I've had things damaged, and sometimes they don't come out, but instead of moaning about it with no substance, I've looked to find out why. markymark3

7:24pm Sat 2 Jun 12

markymark3 says...

As for being caught speeding, where I live, out of the 3 PACT priorities, 3 of them are for speeding, ie the Public have asked the Police to deal with it.
There's one simple solution, don't speed!
As for being caught speeding, where I live, out of the 3 PACT priorities, 3 of them are for speeding, ie the Public have asked the Police to deal with it. There's one simple solution, don't speed! markymark3

7:24pm Sat 2 Jun 12

markymark3 says...

2 priorities, not 3.
2 priorities, not 3. markymark3

7:39pm Sat 2 Jun 12

boby says...

When a vehicle is being damaged in the same place at the same time, is it that difficult???. Or do i like yourself have enough time to write to the home office ????. lol. I have to make a living when i am changing the spare wheel. Are you the only person on this earth that has never speeded lol.
When a vehicle is being damaged in the same place at the same time, is it that difficult???. Or do i like yourself have enough time to write to the home office ????. lol. I have to make a living when i am changing the spare wheel. Are you the only person on this earth that has never speeded lol. boby

7:43pm Sat 2 Jun 12

boby says...

Tell your so called theories to the three disabled adults i have taken for seven years.
Tell your so called theories to the three disabled adults i have taken for seven years. boby

7:57pm Sat 2 Jun 12

markymark3 says...

I haven't said I don't speed and I have been caught twice, but I'm not one to moan about it. Both times it was civilian camera operators as well, not Police officers, ad if you read what I put above the Police only do speed checks where the local public ask them too.
As for not contacting the Home Office that's up to you, look up the Winsor report if you want, you'll see that the Police will have targets again, and the easiest thing for them to target is the motorist, by the time it happens though it will be too late.
I haven't said I don't speed and I have been caught twice, but I'm not one to moan about it. Both times it was civilian camera operators as well, not Police officers, ad if you read what I put above the Police only do speed checks where the local public ask them too. As for not contacting the Home Office that's up to you, look up the Winsor report if you want, you'll see that the Police will have targets again, and the easiest thing for them to target is the motorist, by the time it happens though it will be too late. markymark3

10:59pm Sat 2 Jun 12

FoxyWoxy says...

This has always been a problem, and it is bad it happened to them but a catalytic converter for a VW Transporter van would likely be £3-400.
This has always been a problem, and it is bad it happened to them but a catalytic converter for a VW Transporter van would likely be £3-400. FoxyWoxy

11:04pm Sat 2 Jun 12

rotcoddam says...

The problem is that the majority of crime is drugs related. Either stealing to fund it or fighting over its supply. These oxygen wasting scum are too much pitied and understood and not enough punished and detered.

Any day now we will be hearing the liberals and other do gooders making a song and dance about the authorities in Bali dealing with drug smugglers in a proper and robust way to prevent them re offending. Namely giving them a fair trial, finding them guilty and taking them out and shooting them.No chance of a second offence there then.

Hear its some whining defence lawyer saying " if it please my lord my client only commited the theft in order to fund his further criminal activities, ie purchase possesion and use of drugs" Oh that's all right, then a community service joke and back out on the streets commiting more offences.

Also what sort of driver can drive that distence with the entire exhaust system missing and not notice anything wrong. Also how much for a replacement....... is that a rolls royce or bently mini bus then.
The problem is that the majority of crime is drugs related. Either stealing to fund it or fighting over its supply. These oxygen wasting scum are too much pitied and understood and not enough punished and detered. Any day now we will be hearing the liberals and other do gooders making a song and dance about the authorities in Bali dealing with drug smugglers in a proper and robust way to prevent them re offending. Namely giving them a fair trial, finding them guilty and taking them out and shooting them.No chance of a second offence there then. Hear its some whining defence lawyer saying " if it please my lord my client only commited the theft in order to fund his further criminal activities, ie purchase possesion and use of drugs" Oh that's all right, then a community service joke and back out on the streets commiting more offences. Also what sort of driver can drive that distence with the entire exhaust system missing and not notice anything wrong. Also how much for a replacement....... is that a rolls royce or bently mini bus then. rotcoddam

2:03pm Sun 3 Jun 12

spooki says...

markymark3 wrote:
Pay more council tax so there's more Police on the street, support them as due to the cuts there's going to be less of them, and contact the Home Office and ask them to reduce the paperwork they have to do which again keeps them off the street. I've had to call them several times as I've had things damaged, and sometimes they don't come out, but instead of moaning about it with no substance, I've looked to find out why.
MORE council tax? Where exactly is the money being spent now? You could have your own personal beat of private bobbies and the criminal will still win as you can't assault them when they break into your home, you can't insult them because of the 'poor babies, must come from a broken home' brigade and you can't put a security camera outside YOUR home on YOUR car because it breaks the human rights code.
[quote][p][bold]markymark3[/bold] wrote: Pay more council tax so there's more Police on the street, support them as due to the cuts there's going to be less of them, and contact the Home Office and ask them to reduce the paperwork they have to do which again keeps them off the street. I've had to call them several times as I've had things damaged, and sometimes they don't come out, but instead of moaning about it with no substance, I've looked to find out why.[/p][/quote]MORE council tax? Where exactly is the money being spent now? You could have your own personal beat of private bobbies and the criminal will still win as you can't assault them when they break into your home, you can't insult them because of the 'poor babies, must come from a broken home' brigade and you can't put a security camera outside YOUR home on YOUR car because it breaks the human rights code. spooki

5:01pm Sun 3 Jun 12

mikeymagic says...

It's terrible it was stolen but what I can't understand is why it was still driven! If you remove the exhaust from the cat back it will sound like a world war II bomber!
It's terrible it was stolen but what I can't understand is why it was still driven! If you remove the exhaust from the cat back it will sound like a world war II bomber! mikeymagic

6:41pm Sun 3 Jun 12

gameon says...

These Low Life morons couldnt care less who they steal from they know who the bent ask no questions Scrap metal dealers are and thats who the Police should be Targetting Nick the receivers and make an example of them not the usual rap on the knuckles.
These Low Life morons couldnt care less who they steal from they know who the bent ask no questions Scrap metal dealers are and thats who the Police should be Targetting Nick the receivers and make an example of them not the usual rap on the knuckles. gameon

7:44pm Sun 3 Jun 12

markymark3 says...

spooki wrote:
markymark3 wrote:
Pay more council tax so there's more Police on the street, support them as due to the cuts there's going to be less of them, and contact the Home Office and ask them to reduce the paperwork they have to do which again keeps them off the street. I've had to call them several times as I've had things damaged, and sometimes they don't come out, but instead of moaning about it with no substance, I've looked to find out why.
MORE council tax? Where exactly is the money being spent now? You could have your own personal beat of private bobbies and the criminal will still win as you can't assault them when they break into your home, you can't insult them because of the 'poor babies, must come from a broken home' brigade and you can't put a security camera outside YOUR home on YOUR car because it breaks the human rights code.
If you had read all the comments you'll see I said about a camera I put up outside my own house, the comments timed at 6:44 pm on Sat Jun 2nd.
As for paying more council tax, if you want more Police on the streets, with the Government cutting their Police budgets, then how else do you suggest keeping officer numbers the same; they could go out and ticket every motorist, but people wouldn't like that either, so the reality is likely to be less Police, and as has been said, in a recession crime goes up, not down.
[quote][p][bold]spooki[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]markymark3[/bold] wrote: Pay more council tax so there's more Police on the street, support them as due to the cuts there's going to be less of them, and contact the Home Office and ask them to reduce the paperwork they have to do which again keeps them off the street. I've had to call them several times as I've had things damaged, and sometimes they don't come out, but instead of moaning about it with no substance, I've looked to find out why.[/p][/quote]MORE council tax? Where exactly is the money being spent now? You could have your own personal beat of private bobbies and the criminal will still win as you can't assault them when they break into your home, you can't insult them because of the 'poor babies, must come from a broken home' brigade and you can't put a security camera outside YOUR home on YOUR car because it breaks the human rights code.[/p][/quote]If you had read all the comments you'll see I said about a camera I put up outside my own house, the comments timed at 6:44 pm on Sat Jun 2nd. As for paying more council tax, if you want more Police on the streets, with the Government cutting their Police budgets, then how else do you suggest keeping officer numbers the same; they could go out and ticket every motorist, but people wouldn't like that either, so the reality is likely to be less Police, and as has been said, in a recession crime goes up, not down. markymark3

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