Thieves cut fuel lines on community bus

DISAPPOINTED: Shoalhaven Community Transport Service chief executive officer Stephen Fornasier has concerns about the safety of his staff after fuel lines were cut on the company’s buses in a targeted act of vandalism this week.VANDALS have cut the fuel lines on buses operated by a volunteer transport service.
Nanjing Night Net

Shoalhaven Community Transport Service has been the target of a series of break-ins in recent weeks.

Service chief executive officer Stephen Fornasier said the buses were vandalised while parked at the Park Road facility in Nowra.

“This is a huge safety concern,” he said.

“We didn’t realise that one of the bus fuel lines had been cut when the driver had taken it out in the morning.

“It could have blown up.

“He didn’t realise until he went to refuel and it spilled out on the ground everywhere that that bus had been damaged. The chance of a fire was high.”

Mr Fornasier said fuel was also stolen from a number of vehicles.

The organisation provides transport to people who are frail, aged, isolated or living with a disability.

“This is the third time within a matter of weeks this has happened,” Mr Fornasier said.

“One of our buses will be off the road for three days because we have to get parts brought in from inter-state.

“The costs add up quickly.

“What I can’t understand is that these people are stealing from the community, so really they are just disadvantaging themselves,”

The garage, where the company’s vehicles are kept was also broken into on Monday.

“They damaged the sheds, but they realised there was nothing inside worth their while,” Mr Fornasier said.

Shoalhaven Community Transport Service has 15 vehicles that provide door-to-door transport to medical appointments, hospital, shopping, community services such as support groups and social and recreational activities.

Mr Fornasier said to continue with a lot of their services they had to borrow vehicles and reshuffle appointments.

Shoalhaven Local Area Command acting inspector Andrew Birch said it appeared to be an isolated incident on the company.

“Police are investigating the damage to fuel lines to two Shoalhaven Community Transport Service Toyota buses and are investigating into the matter to identify a possible offender,” he said.

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