A CHARITABLE furniture enterprise is managing to shield its increased costs from its customers after its delivery van was stolen.

The Luton-style van belonging to Frade – Furniture Reclamation and Delivery Enterprise – was stolen from a hand car wash next to the organisation’s base on Leadenhall Street in Darlington in early December.

The burglars loaded the van up with equipment stolen from the car wash and made off.

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Frade collects and restores used furniture to sell on for low prices and serves many needy people, but since the theft on December 8 it has had to cover the costs of hiring a van until its insurance money comes through.

Project manager David Regan said that thankfully collections have picked up in recent weeks so the service has not had to increase any of its prices to meet the unexpected cost of van hire.

He added: “A business would probably put the cost on the client, but we are here to help the client.”

The police have been unable to track down the stolen white van and if anyone knows its whereabouts or saw anything suspicious in the Leadenhall Street area overnight on December 8 they should contact officers on 101.