CCTV footage shows the moment a milkman disturbed the thieves
A charity that helps homeless people has had its van wrecked after vital components were stolen in a night-time raid.
The theft saw the entire front of the vehicle carefully dismantled, making it unusable, and putting at risk the charity's ability to feed people across Cambridgeshire.
Three Pillars Feeding The Homeless, based in St Neots, supports people with food, accommodation and clothing.
CCTV footage shows it was only the arrival of the milk man in the early hours of the morning that disturbed the thieves, who then fled.
Bosses have described the theft as sickening.
The co-founder of the charity, Ged Dempsey, said volunteers discovered the wrecked van early on Monday morning.
"I turned up at the complex and just thought we had a major crash or something. [Co-founder] Mick came and told me 'somebody's robbed it'."
The charity explained the devastating impact to ITV News Anglia's Callum Fairhurst
The thieves came in the dead of night, spending four hours ruining the van, piece by piece.
The bonnet, wings, front bumper and radiator were take as they meticulously dismantled the vehicle.
It is thought that the parts were stolen to order.
Co-founder Mick Pescod added: "It was only when the milkman came at 2.30am that disturbed them.
"We've had so many people phone in with offers of help and encouragement. It's immense really, the whole community has got behind us. We do try and do good to the people".
The organisation estimates damage could cost £10,000, something they hope their insurance will cover.
The charity has pledged not to stop helping vulnerable people across St Neots, Huntingdon and Peterborough but has admitted that support may have to be scaled down.
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