HUNDREDS of vulnerable residents have been left unable to get out and about after the minibuses they rely on were broken into.

Heartless vandals smashed the windows of three vehicles belonging to the Basildon District Volunteer Carers, based at The George Hurd Centre on Audley Way, Basildon.

They also rifled through the glove boxes in search of valuable items and attempted to steal a sat-nav but left empty-handed.

Staff from the charity, which helps elderly and disabled people live more independent lives, were shocked when they arrived at work at 8am on Tuesday to find the car park covered in shattered glass.

Dawn Penn, Community Service Manager at Basildon District Volunteer Careers, said: “We are all absolutely stunned. I just can’t believe that someone would do this. We have been here four years and never experienced anything like this.

“The buses are especially adapted for wheelchair access so it’s pretty obvious that disabled people use them. This is a major disruption to our service.”

Every month the charity, which was established in 1991, provides more than 2,000 journeys for 300 elderly and disabled people across the borough.

Despite having a further two minibuses which remain in operation, the dedicated volunteers were left with little choice but to cancel a number of their transport commitments forcing elderly and disabled residents to either use taxi’s or stay at home.

Police are urging anyone with information about the incident to call 101.