VANDALS have attacked a BMW set to be driven in a long-distance journey from Edinburgh to Rome to raise money for a cancer charity.
The front and rear badges were ripped off the car, which had been embossed with the Cancer Research UK logo in preparation for the Rust2Rome fundraiser.
The car was bought by three colleagues, whose lives have each been touched by cancer recently, to take part in the 4500-mile challenge.
Scott Maddison, whose mum passed away in December after a long battle against the disease, said he was “sickened” that anyone would steal badges off the 19-year-old vehicle.
The BMW Alpina badges were stolen from the car in Oxgangs Road North between Friday night and 7am on Saturday. It follows a spate of similar thefts in Broughton in March when badges from eight cars were taken by thieves.
Mr Maddison, a data engineer, is due to set off for the Rust2Rome challenge from South Queensferry on Sunday alongside Robbie Brownwright, 39, who runs Heriot AV, an audio visual company based in Shandon Place, and their colleague, Jackson Stirling, 25, an electrician.
Mr Brownwright’s father, who also works at the family firm, is currently suffering from a brain tumour, while a friend of Mr Stirling’s is battling prostate cancer.
Mr Maddison, from Currie, said: “There was a badge on the front under the Cancer Research logo and another one on the rear. They are quite unusual, specialist badges. That’s the only reason I can think that someone would want to prise them off.
“I’d been staying at my dad’s house in Oxgangs Road North. He’s not been in great health so that was why I was staying there on Friday night.
“When I came out on Saturday morning, I found they had been stolen. I was really angry that someone would do this to a car which was clearly involved with a charity. I’m just hoping it was kids who weren’t thinking. If not, it was a sick thing to do.
“The badges look like they’ve been taken off with a screwdriver because there’s some scratches.
“We bought the car a few months ago for £500 to take part in Rust2Rome, where people buy bangers, do them up and drive them on a trip through Europe. We’ve been working on the car, making sure it ran OK.
“The three of us have all been affected by cancer so that’s why we decided to get involved in raising money.”
His mum, Patricia, passed away aged 63 in December after fighting cancer for four years.
The father-of-two added: “She had previously beaten breast cancer, but it came back and spread from her bones to her kidneys and overwhelmed her. It was quite horrific. She was being treated at Marie Curie then we brought her home to nurse her to the end.”
Mr Brownwright, whose 62-year-old father, Robert, is battling the illness, said: “We were pretty disgusted that anyone could steal these badges. It’s not as if they’re worth hundreds of pounds. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just vandalism.
“But we’ve raised more than £1000 so far and we’re not going to let it spoil the trip.”
Anyone wishing to make a donation to the charity appeal can visit the Team Heriot AV page at www.justgiving.com
A police spokesman said: “Police are investigating the theft of badges from a BMW motor car that was parked in Oxgangs Road North overnight from Friday into Saturday.
“Anyone who has any information that can assist police in their inquiries should contact 0131-311 3131.”