BUMBLEANCE THIEVES WERE CAUGHT ON CAMERA
THE heartless thieves who cleaned out a cupboard of medical supplies from children's ambulance the Bumbleance were caught on camera.
A host of electrical equipment is kept in the back of the vehicle to keep ill children entertained on their way to hospital.
Last night, the charity behind the interactive ambulance was in the process of downloading the images in the hope of passing them on to gardai.
Thieves targeted the ambulance while in was at the National Ploughing Championships in Co Laois on Thursday.
"I nearly pity them now," said Bumbleance director David Hall. "The items were of no use to anyone other than a medic and they have no resale value.
"It would be logical to think they might have thought there were drugs on board, but the everyday supplies are not fit for any illegal purpose and all medicines had been cleared out ahead of the bumbleance's trip to Laois."
The €800 cost of the stolen supplies could have covered two Angel Trips - the name given to the final journey a terminally-ill child will take from hospital to their home.
However, the theft, which provided a bitter end to the charity's fundraising at the championship, spawned some positive results.
Mr Hall said: "Ten medical supply companies have been in touch offering to replace what was taken."
Meanwhile, Lidl donated €5,000 to the charity yesterday. Similar donations from around the country were also pledged, and the charity expects to receive up to €15,000 on the back of the incident.
"It will be a huge help towards getting a second Bumbleance on the road," said Mr Hall.