Dublin Simon Community’s van stolen

Public warned against people pretending to collect for the homelessness charity

The van belonging to the Dublin Simon Community, which was stolen at the weekend. Photograph: Dublin Simon

The van belonging to the Dublin Simon Community, which was stolen at the weekend. Photograph: Dublin Simon

Tue, Oct 15, 2013, 15:02

Dublin Simon Community is warning the public to verify the identity of anyone purporting to be fundraising for it.

The warning comes after the charity’s van, containing branded ‘hi-vis’ jackets, collection buckets and Dublin Simon signage was stolen sometime between last Saturday evening and Monday.

A spokeswoman for Dublin Simon explained the van, a white Nissan Cabstar, registration number 95D 18377, was used on Saturday morning during the Dublin Simon fun-run in the Phoenix Park.

She said the van was also used around the city to collect donated items that donors are unable to bring to its headquarters.

“It is our only van. We had in out on Saturday for the fun-run, which was over at about 2 pm. We cleaned the site after the run and had collected up all the stewards’ hi-vis jackets, all the branded collection buckets and the signage and Sam [McGuinness, Dublin Simon chief executive] parked the van in Chapelizod industrial estate.

“When the driver went to get the van on Monday morning it wasn’t there,” she said.

“What we would be concerned about is the fact that people might use the branded items and present themselves as collecting for Dublin Simon. We don’t have people out collecting unless they are doing so alongside an event.”

The spokeswoman said staff at the charity were “at a loss” as to why anyone would steal the van, particularly given its age.

“Perhaps whoever took it thought there would be money in the van. It’s a old van and we have not replaced it as its too costly, but we rely on the van to pick up donated items from around the city as well from as Kildare and Wicklow.

“ As the cold weather really comes in there would usually be a hgh volume of blankets and outer wear being donated, which we just aren’t able to collect at the moment.”

It would also be costly also to replace the signage, jackets and buckets, she added.