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Callous thieves break into charity bus in Harlesden stealing £5,000 of equipment and damaging interior

PUBLISHED: 12:32 02 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:37 03 October 2019

United Borders has partnered with music giant Sonos. Picture: Brunel Johnson

United Borders has partnered with music giant Sonos. Picture: Brunel Johnson

Archant

Heartless thieves broke into a charity bus in Harlesden, causing £7,000 worth of damage making off equipment to the tune of £5,000.

United Borders bus broken into. Picture: United BordersUnited Borders bus broken into. Picture: United Borders

The United Borders travelling music studio, stationed in Church Road, was broken into sometime between 11pm on Sunday and 7am on Monday.

It is the second time the charity has suffered a major knock. Its first bus was destroyed by fire in April last year.

The charity team woke up on Monday to find thieves had ransacked the vehicle, broken down the door, ripped apart cupboards and made off with laptops, speakers, microphones, music stands and recording equipment all meant to give kids from different areas a chance to spend time together and learn new skills.

Annabel Bates, strategic director, said: "We were heartbroken to find the bus and see the damage that had been done. It's not just the equipment - they broke in the door, the cupboards were ripped apart. We're working hard to replace everything and get the bus back on the road for young people as soon as possible."

United Borders bus broken into. Picture: United BordersUnited Borders bus broken into. Picture: United Borders

Justin Finlayson set up the charity in 2017 in response to the death of James Owusu-Agyekum, a 22-year-old student who was gunned down outside his home in Tynsdale Road in 2016.

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He bought a red London bus and converted the upper deck into a recording studio, installing desks, USB plugs and a plasterboard studio booth at the front.

His project soon took off, with once warring factions from Harlesden and Stonebridge staying on the bus, messing with the decks and making music together.

Following the arson attack in Hatfield Heath and with help from private backers and a partnership with music giant Sonos, the charity got moving again in May.

Mentoring, music therapy, music production experience is offered as well as education about gun and knife crime.

Asked if she knew who might be responsible she said: "We set up the charity to help young people to improve their life through music at a time when a lot of services were being cut. We are right in the community that we serve so it is very upsetting that it has happened but we are not about laying blame.

"We just want to get back on the road as soon as possible."

To donate go to gofundme.com/f/united-borders

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