CALLOUS thieves have hit a charity shop in the pocket after damaging its van used to raise cash for bereaved families of dead servicemen and women.

The theft of the vehicle’s wheels and rear lights has been a financial blow to the Kidderminster Forces Support charity shop as it needs the van to collect and deliver stock to raise funds .

The thieves struck between Saturday evening and Monday morning while the white Ford Tran-sit van, which had the charity’s logo and pictures of its work on the side, was parked up for the weekend in a car park in New Road.

Five of the six wheels were stolen and the repairs are expected to cost more than £2,000.

Staff were left stunned when they arrived at the Worcester Street shop, which sells furniture and electrical items, on Monday.

Sue Fisher, manager, said: “It’s awful, absolutely awful. I cannot believe they could do that to a charity – they’re the lowest of the low.

The driver phoned me to say what had happened and I was in disbelief .”

The store opened in Kidderminster two years ago and the charity provides practical help for families who might be struggling with home maintenance jobs.

Ms Fisher said she want-ed any one who saw any-thing suspicious to come forward, adding: “The van is essential to the charity work as we go out six days a week collecting items that are donated to us and delivering things that people buy. It’ s the only van we’ve got for this shop .”

She added the charity would have to fork out £250 for the excess of its car insurance as well as pay for drive rs from other stores across the West Midlands to do the delivery and collections , while the van was out of action.

“We’ re having to suppor t the drivers every day to cover the work here at the shop and pay for petrol and wages ,” she explained.

“The vans are coming over from other shops and the drivers are being paid to come over her. Our driver is not driving but he still has to be paid.”

Steve Richardson, national projects co-ordinator for Forces Support, said the charity was now desperate to find a secure parking space for the van and urged businesses to come forward if they could help .

People could make a donation towards the repairs at