Heartless thugs have stolen a minvan from a special needs charity theatre group in Coatbridge. 

The director of the Shining Stars group, Katie Selavin found the specially-adapted van missing from its usual space in Brown Street industrial estate last night. 

The van is essential for the group and enables them to take kids and adults with special needs to and from activities and performances. 

The van is most often used for the group's holiday camps, which Katie called a "lifeline" for parents with kids in the club. 

She said: "Its a lifeline to get the kids and adults out and about. During holiday camps it’s our only way to get out into the community.

"We’ll be able to run our club, but the likelihood is out holiday camps won’t run like they usually do because we have no means of transport - that's a lifeline to parents without childcare."

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She said the really "sad and horrible" thing was that the kids themselves had fought for and won lottery funding to get the van in the first place. 

Katie reported the theft to the police and has shared pictures of the van on social media. 

She also contacted local taxi offices to get cabbies to look out for the missing van.

She has asked anyone with information on the whereabouts of the van to contact the police or to email her on: katie.shiningstarstheatreschool@hotmail.com

The minibus is a Ford Transit, with black wrapping on it, though it could be silver if this is removed. The van's registration is HN16 CME. 

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We received a report of a Ford Transit van being stolen from the Brown Street Industrial Estate in Coatbridge sometime between Saturday, 18 January, and 6.30pm on Monday 03 February. Enquiries are ongoing.”