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Homeless charity in appeal for stolen van

HOMELESS charity the Dublin Simon Community has had its van stolen, leaving it without vital transport for the winter.

The organisation has asked the public to keep a lookout for the off-white Nissan Cabstar.

Annemarie Brennan, the charity's media and campaigns manager, said the vehicle was stolen after the annual Simon Fun Run in Phoenix Park.

"After a long day, we packed up our van with our event materials and we parked it in its usual spot in Chapelizod Industrial Estate, next to our storage unit."

WORKERS

It was gone when workers returned the next Monday.

Annemarie told the Herald that the van was essential to the charity's work, particularly during the run-up to the cold winter period.

"We use it for clothing collections from the public, which are then distributed to people accessing our services," she said.

"It is absolutely critical that we it back as soon as possible.

"Temperatures have started to drop and our services rely on clothing and other items donated to us. Without the van, we can't collect these items." The charity is also concerned that individuals may try to use some of the branded material for fraudulent activities.

"(The van) contained all our Dublin Simon Community signage, branded clothing and our fundraising materials," Annemarie explained.

"While costly, it can be replaced. However, we are worried that those who stole the van will make false representations to the public and use the materials to fundraise for their own benefit.

"We would really like the public to help us find the vehicle.

"We have started a hashtag on twitter (#findsimonvan) and are asking people to share and retweet in the hope that the public will keep their eyes open for the van."

She said that while the vehicle was 18 years old, it would be a very costly item to replace. So the sooner they get it back, the better.

The van, with a 95D 18377 registration has Dublin Simon branding on the outside.

It was stolen from the Chapelizod Industrial Estate between Saturday, October 12 at around 5pm and Monday October 14 at around 9am.

There was no money in the vehicle when it was taken.

fdillon@herald.ie


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