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Crowbat thugs grab disabled boys' van

A FATHER has spoken of his moment of terror as two yobs brandishing crowbars stole a van which had been specially adapted for his two disabled sons.

The thieves snatched the vehicle - the boys' lifeline to the outside world - from the driveway of their home in the Lordswood area of Chatham.

Wayne O'Leary caught them red-handed inside the van after his wheelchair-bound sons, Wesley, 14, and Wayne, 12, were woken in the middle of the night. When he shouted at the thieves to get out they emerged armed with iron bars and told him to "back off or else".

Mr O'Leary ran back into his bungalow to his terrified wife Pauline and the two boys and called the police. Meanwhile, one of the men jumped back into the driving seat of the £15,000 white VW transporter van while the other sped off in a car parked nearby.

The theft has meant the family has been forced to cancel their much-needed summer break in Devon in September. Mr O'Leary, a 36-year-old warehouseman said: "The boys were crying and understandably very upset. We bought the van three years ago and it has been reinforced and adapted for their wheelchairs. Without it we are lost."

Wesley and Wayne, who were born with muscular dystrophy, need the van to get to their special school in Maidstone and for family outings at weekends.

Anyone with information about the theft of the vehicle, registration number V731 LKJ, is asked to contact Medway Police on 01634 827055 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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