Heartless thieves target UK NHS workers’ cars as they treat coronavirus patients

HORRIFIED NHS staff finished 12-shifts caring for coronavirus patients in Stoke to find heartless thieves had targeted their cars.

Staff at the Royal Stoke University Hospital arrived at their car to find the catalytic converters had been stolen, StokeOnTRentLive reports.

And it has left them with hundreds of pounds worth of repair bills.

The thefts occurred on March 21, with at least three of the known victims owning a Honda Jazz.

When Staff nurse Sophy Kuriakose finished her shift in the critical care unit, and got back to her car at 9pm, she initially had no idea there was anything wrong.

The 39-year-old, of Newcastle, said she had had a long shift and  started to drive my home but “it was making a big noise.”

“I rang my husband and told him something was wrong and slowly managed to drive home, because I live close to the hospital.

“It was the weekend so I had to wait to take it to the garage and they said it will cost £650 to repair. I can’t afford to get it fixed. I’ve got three kids and now I am relying on my husband’s car.”

She said it’s really heartbreaking, especially with everything “with Covid-19 we are really struggling at work.” She added “the whole world is struggling now and people should not be doing it. It’s terrible. They really should be punished.”

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust has now stepped up security patrols at the Royal Stoke.

A spokesman said it’s “very sad that these incidents take place at all, but especially during a time of extra challenge to the NHS when all of our staff are working even harder to provide care.”

CCTV footage of the incidents is being examined and the Trust is working with the police to investigate the matters further.

Staffordshire Police is investigating the car park thefts as part of a wider operation – Operation Ivy – to tackle the thefts of catalytic converters and tools from vehicles.

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Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
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