Disabled at risk after assistance centre theft

A home assistance centre in Kronoberg county, central Sweden, was left reeling after a burglary on Christmas day, where thieves took off with both cars and computers after demolishing the centre's offices.

“Not a fun Christmas present. Now we have no cars to reach clients and service their wheel chairs and other home aids,” the center’s head Yvonne Hellsten told news agency TT.

On Sunday she received a text message telling all employees that Tuesday will not be an ordinary work day.

The five stolen vehicles were a car, a minibus and three service busses with special equipment for handicapped passengers, including ramps. The material value of these vehicles is estimated at 2 million kronor ($291,000).

Somewhere between 12pm Christmas Eve and 10am Christmas day, the thieves broke into the centre’s offices in one of Växjö’s industrial areas. They jimmied a safe, stole the car keys, and made their escape with all the centre’s vehicles.

“We will try to borrow cars,” said Yvonne Hellsten.

Police began their forensic investigation of the crime scene on Sunday.

It is still unclear if it was the vehicles the thieves were after, or if they found the keys by accident.

Some of the vehicles were marked with the regional logo. The home assistance centre serves disabled people all across Kronoberg county.

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