Life-saving equipment worth £34,000 stolen from ambulance station

Benjamin Russo, 29, has been charged with robbery
Benjamin Russo, 29, has been charged with robbery

Police are appealing for witnesses after life-saving equipment worth £34,000 stolen from East Grinstead Ambulance Station.

Between 4pm on June 30, and 7.45am on July 3, forced entry was gained to the premises in College Lane, said police.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “A locked store room and two ambulances were broken into, and at least six defibrillators valued at a total of around £34,000 were stolen.

“A further break-in occurred at the station overnight on Sunday (July 9), and on this occasion a set of keys to an ambulance were stolen.

“The ambulance itself was not damaged or stolen.

“The incidents are being linked to a similar theft of medical equipment from Hastings Ambulance Station on June 25.

“In addition, detectives are not ruling out the possibility they may be linked to similar incidents in Dorking, Banstead and Tongham in Surrey, and others in Ashford, Sheppey and Herne Bay in Kent in recent weeks.”

Inspector Paul Wood, of the Mid Sussex Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This is a truly despicable crime committed by someone who clearly has no conscious for the wellbeing of others.

“Defibrillators are vital in saving lives and we’re keen to return the stolen items to our emergency services at the earliest opportunity.

“They cost thousands of pounds, and often the purchase of such equipment is done so through community fundraising.

“We’re also determined to catch the person or persons responsible and bring them to justice.

“We’re appealing for anyone with any information to come forward. In particular, we’d like to hear from anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the area in recent weeks.”

Anyone with any information is asked to report it online quoting serial 217 of 03/07.

Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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