Oxygen Thieves: Criminals Steal Crucial Gas Canisters from Hospital

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Callous thieves broke into Withington Community Hospital in Manchester, England, and stole canisters of oxygen and nitrous oxide — vital for treating patients struggling with respiratory infections such as coronavirus.

Police say three men were seen getting out of a black BMW at approximately 3:30 a.m. near the loading area for hospital deliveries and approaching a metal unit containing the oxygen. The lock securing it was cut and eight canisters stolen.

“Following the theft of a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide canisters at Withington Community Hospital over the weekend, we have notified Greater Manchester Police and are working with them to investigate this incident,” said a spokesman for the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), in comments reported by the Manchester Evening News.

“We have increased security at the site and would encourage anyone with further details to contact the police.”

Speaking for Greater Machester Police, Inspector Andrew Hughes, added that, “Given current circumstances, I’m sure the community will quite rightly share our disgust at the theft of equipment from a local hospital.

Inspector Hughes said the force was “ determined to find those responsible for this crime,” and that he was “appeal[ing] to anyone with information or who may be able to assist us with dash-cam footage to come forward as soon as possible.”

Officers urging anyone who might have information to contact them directly on  0161 856 6086 or, alternatively, the Crimestoppers anonymous hotline, on 0800 555 111.

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