A number of vans used to deliver hot meals to older and vulnerable people across the city of Wolverhampton were left severely damaged after the raid at the adult training centre last night in Stowheath Lane, Bilston.
One of the vehicles also suffered a smashed windscreen during the attack which was said to be “heartless” by authority bosses.
The theft was discovered this morning when staff turned up bright and early for work.
Although, putting aside the vandalism, council bosses confirmed that fortunately the 230 hot meals and afternoon teas which set to be delivered across the city this afternoon would still be sent out.
Wolverhampton City Council’s cabinet member for adult services, Steve Evans, explained today: “These heartless actions could have caused major disruptions to our Meals on Wheels service, potentially leading to some older or vulnerable people being able to receive their hot meals.”
Also, the operations manager for Wolverhampton City Council’s catering services, kindly added: “The compound was locked up at around 3pm yesterday and the vandalism was discovered when our staff arrived on site early this morning.
“In total, five Ford Connect vans were attacked, with all four wheels being removed from four of them and two wheels taken from the other. One of the vans also had its windscreen smashed. There may also be some damage to the undercarriages where the vehicles have been lifted up in order for the wheels to be removed. Hopefully any damaged caused, including the theft of wheels can be covered by their van insurance.
“Fortunately, we have another three vehicles in the fleet available to us and, because it is the Easter holidays, we have also been able to draft in vehicles which would ordinarily have been used to deliver catering services to local schools which will enable us to continue to provide the service over the next few days until the vehicles are repaired.”
Meals on Wheels service functions throughout the whole year, including Christmas Day.
This service was launched back in November, when the council invested £50,000 fitting its fleet of delivery vehicles with ovens. This was just the beginning as by the end of the year, the number of people who signed up had already doubled.
Police are investigating the incident.