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Dartford disabled group hit by £800 smash-and-grab raid
A DISABLED group from Dartford have been left devastated after thieves stole more than £800 worth of equipment used to keep it alive.
The gang broke into a steel container belonging to North Kent Disabled Foundation next to Waller Park Pavilion, Wood Lane, over the weekend.
Wheelchair user and father-of-four Danny O’Brien, 67, who set up the group four years ago, said: “It is heart breaking.
“We’re only a very small disabled charity and they’ve taken all of our stuff that we had to work with.
“Why steal from a small charity? If you’re going to steal, steal from rich people, not us.”
A £345 bench drill was among a number of tools taken during the smash-and-grab raid sometime between 9pm on Friday and 7am the following morning.
Meanwhile, up to £3,000 worth of electric equipment including an air compressor, cable and a large speaker was stolen from a neighbouring container.
Around 12 people from across north Kent meet twice a week in the pavilion hall and use the equipment to make jewellery which is sold on to keep the group running.
One of its members, Lee Forder, 58, of Poplar Avenue, Gravesend, said: “We’ve been building up slowly.
“When you’re raising funds to survive then something like this happens, it’s hugely frustrating.”
Another, Vic Cooke, 68, of Hawthorn Road, Dartford, said: “Years of grafting, making things to sell to keep going then for it to be taken away is unbelievable.”
It is believed the gang managed to switch off the security lights before stealing from at least two steel containers.
Kent Police are investigating the theft.