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Harrogate charity left devastated after thieves steal saddles during fundraising trek

Harrogate charity left devastated after thieves steal saddles during fundraising trek

Published by Lisa Darvill at 6:51am 14th January 2020. (Updated at 8:30am 14th January 2020)

A Harrogate charity's had vital equipment stolen whilst in the middle of a fundraising trek. 

  • Autism Angels uses equine coaching to support children with autism 
  • They're in the middle of a 500-mile charity trek around Yorkshire to raise money and support
  • Some of their equipment was stolen over the weekend 
  • Specialised items of tack were taken from a parked car in Scarborough 

Thieves in Scarborough have stolen horse riding equipment from the Autism Angels.

The equipment was being used by a group on a 500-mile charity trek around Yorkshire, raising money to support children with autism.

Six items were stolen, including two unique saddles, designed for children with specialist needs: one brown, with the name 'AKUA' on the left side, the other black. Two girths and two hi-visibility riding blankets were also taken. The blankets are labeled 'Autism Angels' and are essential to keep the riders safe while out on the roads. 

Autism angels stolen equipment
This unique high-viz saddle was one of the items taken

The charity has taken to social media to share the news and appeal for information. 

 

The items were taken during the evening of Saturday 11 January from a parked car on Lonsdale Road in Scarborough. 

Autism angels stolen equipment
This saddle was also stolen

 

Writing on their Facebook page, Autism Angels UK said:

"It was definitely a heart breaking start to the day as we realised our tack had been stolen and we had no saddles or hi-vis for the horses. The real devastation of course comes to us because we know how much this is going to affect the children we work with once we get home.

"Whilst we are still in shock from these events we are also utterly warmed by the love and support out there… We've had countless messages of support from people all over the country offering love, equipment and support to us."

Despite the theft, the team are continuing with their charity trek. 

Nicki and Sarah from Autism Angels
Nicki and Sarah from Autism Angels, who are taking part in the charity trek

 

Sarah Kekoa, founder of Autism Angels said: 

"It was a real shock. To be honest, I didn't even believe it'd happened. 

"They've left us with no high-viz for the road, it's very difficult to fit saddles for horses so it's not like we can use any saddle on them.

"If anyone knows anything, please just help us. Get those saddles back to us, they are very special saddles that work amazingly for our children. 

"We need those saddles back, it's not just a case of having any saddle."

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said:

"Unfortunately, thieves do target tack and horse riding equipment in general, as it is often very valuable. However, whoever has taken these particular items would know immediately that they belonged to a charity - making their criminal actions quite frankly beyond belief.

"We are urging anyone with information about this callous theft to do the right thing, and contact us, or Crimestoppers anonymously, so we can get this equipment back to its rightful owners."

You can donate to the charity's fundraising appeal here

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2, and ask for the Scarborough Neighbourhood Policing Team. You can also email ScarboroughSNA@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Please quote the North Yorkshire Police reference number 12200006408 when passing information about the theft.

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