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Disbelief as cruel thief steals from patient on cancer ward

PUBLISHED: 13:10 17 February 2019 | UPDATED: 18:33 17 February 2019

The crime happened on a ward at Colchester Hospital. Picture: PA

The crime happened on a ward at Colchester Hospital. Picture: PA

A woman in her 80s had her bank card stolen while being treated on a cancer ward in hospital.

Patients and visitors are being asked to allow extra time to park at Colchester Hospital this weekend Picture: GREGG BROWNPatients and visitors are being asked to allow extra time to park at Colchester Hospital this weekend Picture: GREGG BROWN

The brazen theft took place in Colchester Hospital’s West Bergholt Ward, which specialises in cancer services, on Saturday, February 16.

Police received reports at around 5.20pm after a woman in her 80s had her bank card stolen by a woman acting suspiciously.

A member of the public who was visiting the hospital, said: “A woman came bowling in and went around the curtain of the 87-year-old lady in the corner bed and started talking to her.

“While the elderly woman was not looking she went through her bag and nicked all her money and her bank card.”

Jan Ingle, head of communications for East Suffolk & North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our team is really saddened by an incident which involved someone coming into a ward at Colchester Hospital and taking personal possessions of one of our patients.

“We would like to reassure everyone that both the police and security teams are taking every appropriate action.”

Social media has been in uproar following the incident with many people describing the offender as “the lowest of the low”.

One person asked: “What’s wrong with some people? No morals or empathy.”

Another Colchester resident added: “Stealing alone is disgusting but stealing off of a sick person I dont think you can get any lower than that.”

Other people queried whether changes should be made to increase the security of hospitals in the area, with one woman suggesting that all wards should be locked with only staff and patients having access.

She continued: “Obviously visiting hours should be allowed but even then doors should be locked and only those who are down to visit should be allowed in.”

There have also been unconfirmed reports of a second theft in the hospital on the same day in a different ward.

Anyone with information is asked to call Colchester Police station on 101 quoting crime reference 42/25706/19 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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