Air cadets in Halstead were left devastated after crooks stole the wheels off their mini bus.

The theft, which also saw a trailer taken, happened days before they were due to enjoy a trip to the Peak District. Luckily other kind-hearted air cadets from elsewhere in Essex stepped in and ensured they made the trip.

The group now face the prospect of having to shell out to pay for the van to be repaired.

They came back to the compound to find the van resting on wooden blocks, suggesting the thieves were prepared.

Why they decided a target a group for youngsters which does so much in the community is beyond reasoning.

The air cadets now face being unable to go out on activities and help the community they serve.

Essex Police is investigating and has urged witnesses to come forward with any information.

Air cadet organisers have chalked it up to a “harsh life lesson”.

But the reality is it shouldn’t have happened in the first place and they shouldn’t be paying the price for it.

Hopefully the youngsters will not be left too downhearted and will continue to support our town.