Karting company owner ‘devastated’ by theft of vehicle for disabled

Craig Gavagan of Prestige Karting.
Craig Gavagan of Prestige Karting.

The owner of a Colne karting company says he is “devastated” after its only vehicle suitable for disabled people was stolen this week.

Craig Gavagan, managing director at Prestige Karting, has been left counting the cost and the loss of a valued vehicle after the £6,000 go-kart was stolen by thieves in the early hours of Monday morning.

The stolen two seater go-kart. (S)

The stolen two seater go-kart. (S)

The raid at the premises in Holker Street off Burnley Road took place at 2-52am on Monday when three men forced open a shutter door. The door has now been replaced, but at a cost of £1,000 to the business.

Mr Gavagan said: “It’s a damn shame. It is our only two seater car. We initially bought it so that blind people could experience the thrill of the high speeds of karting but with somebody else in the driving seat.

“But it’s also used by people with other disabilities, cerebral palsy for example, who do not have full use of their limbs. They always come back with massive smiles on their faces.

“Now we can no longer offer that and as a small business, it’s not as if we can just stump up £6,000 to replace it.

“I’m devastated, especially as it’s used for those who can’t usually do go-karting.

“It’s clear the thieves knew what they were after. They’ve left everything else. All three of them got on it and headed in the Nelson direction. It makes you wonder what kind of society we live in.”

Colne police have appealed for the return of the distinctive kart which has blue side panels and seating one behind the other.

PCSO Kevin Dolphin said: “I would urge the people who have taken this to return the kart if they have any decency in them.

“The kart is designed for disabled people and the company is going to struggle to replace it. Anybody wishing to use this piece of equipment is now going to be deprived of that pleasure.

“It’s a unique vehicle and is easily identifiable. If somebody attempts to sell it, it’s quite obvious where it will have come from.”

Call police on 101 with any information on the incident quoting the crime number EG1504529. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.