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"Disgraceful" thieves target ambulance during 999 call
3:39pm Thursday 9th August 2012 in News
POLICE are hoping an outraged public will help them track down thieves who targeted an ambulance as it was answering an emergency call.
Officers described it as a “disgraceful” crime that could have put lives at risk.
It happened at about 2.20am last Friday as the 999 vehicle was parked outside a residential home on Granby Road, Harrogate , as paramedics responded to an emergency call.
he thieves stole a number of yellow torches but also damaged the ambulance when they tried to steal the satellite navigation system and the vehicle’s hand-held radio.
Sergeant Harry Finlay said: “It beggars belief that anyone would steal from a vehicle used to save people’s lives.
“I urge anyone with information about this disgraceful crime to contact the police immediately.”
The ambulance service’s head of operations in North Yorkshire, Phil Bainbridge, said: “Our ability to respond to 999 calls is compromised when thieves break into our emergency vehicles and steal vital equipment.
“The satellite navigation systems we use in the ambulance service are specific to ambulance vehicles and are of no use to members of the public.
“We also immediately block any of the mobile phones and hand-held radios that are stolen, so they are useless for making and receiving calls.
“Offenders are putting people’s lives in danger as vehicles are not able to respond to 999 calls if they are damaged or lacking vital equipment.”
He added: “This is a problem that we should not have to encounter. Thieves should consider their actions and think about how this crime is potentially putting people’s lives at risk.”
Anyone who can help the police with their enquiries is asked to contact Harrogate police on 101, press option two and ask for Simon Headley. Alternatively information can be emailed to email@example.com or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.