STAFF at a York hospice say they are "shocked and saddened" after a thief stole one of their vans.

The delivery vehicle was taken from the car park of St Leonard's Hospice, in Tadcaster Road, on Monday night.

North Yorkshire Police said it was believed the vehicle was taken at around 11.45pm.

A spokeswoman for the charity said the theft would temporarily hamper the company's ability to pick up donations or deliver products to the respite care centre.

She said: “We’re shocked, saddened and upset to report that one of our vans was stolen from the Hospice car park on Tadcaster Road.

“We don’t have locks on our gates because the drivers come early in the morning with deliveries but to think that someone would steal from a charity is upsetting.

“Consequently, we won’t be able to pick up certain donations for the hospice, and some deliveries will now take longer than expected.

“Please be assured that all of our staff carry photo ID so we recommend that people always check this with them when having donated goods collected.

“Our vans are vital to our retail operation and we rely on them daily to collect donated items to be sold in our shops, as well as to deliver purchased items to customers.

“Please bear with us as there will be delays while we are one van down.

“This has been reported and is in the hands of the police but if anybody spots the van please do report it to the force.”

The hospice added that the van is a Ford Transit, registration number YE62 OOC .

A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “This is a heartless crime carried out by thieves who have no regard for the invaluable work and service the hospice provide.

“If you saw anything suspicious or have any information at all, please call 101 and quote the incident number.”

If anyone has any information which would assist officers with their inquiries, please contact the force control room on 101, select option one and pass the information on.

Please quote reference 12190105000.