A village school was left without the use of its vital minibus after thieves damaged the vehicle and stole a full tank of diesel.
Around 50 litres of diesel, worth about £65, was stolen from the minibus just before half-term.
School secretary Zoe Kitching said the incident has had a knock-on effect as the school also loaned the minibus out to other village schools to be used.
It was teachers at another school who discovered what had happened when they arrived to collect the minibus on Friday February 15.
“They came to pick up the minibus and said the tank was empty, but we knew we had filled it up,” Miss Kitching said.
“We realised that overnight someone had drilled a hole through the tank and emptied the tank.
“The fuel tank has been emptied and the minibus has been ruined in the process.
“We are now having to rely on coaches to take the children on pre-planned trips.
“The school will be left out of pocket with the fuel itself and also with having to pay for coaches that are used, and for the repair work to be carried out to the fuel tank.
“It is having a knock-on effect on us as well as other schools that used the minibus.
“We are a small rural school and we like to take the children out and about as much as we can. This is not something that we would expect to happen around here and it really has had a big effect on us, it’s been terrible.”
The minibus is usually left in the car park of the village hall, next door to the school in Footeran Lane, Yealand Redmayne. Unfortunately, nothing has shown up on any CCTV in the area and the school is now hoping someone will come forward with information to help police with their enquiries.
Anyone with any information can contact the police on 101.