Opportunist thieves targeted a St John Ambulance while it was responding to an emergency call in Pukekohe.
The thieves entered the ambulance while the St John officers were attending to a patient inside a Wellington St, Pukekohe house and stole $1500 worth of gear last Wednesday night.
An operation radio and a St John personal equipment bag with uniforms, wet weather gear and a stethoscope were taken, St John communications adviser northern region Robbie Walker said.
''They took an operation radio and a St John personal equipment bag with uniform items including wet weather gear and a stethoscope,'' St John communications adviser northern region Robbie Walker said.
It was a cruel blow to Franklin St John, which is fundraising to upgrade its deteriorating Pukekohe Station.
Franklin territory manager Glenn Metcalfe said it was likely the gear stolen was paid for through donated money.
He was disappointed that the thieves had chosen to target the charity organisation and especially that they did it while it was responding to an emergency call.
''Our St John team were helping someone who had called for an ambulance and for the theft to happen during an emergency situation, it is sad,'' he said.
The stolen gear was not required for the job the ambulance was responding to.Metcalfe said the gear would not be worth much to the thieves but it was to them.
''The equipment can't be used by the public for any purpose so I would be very grateful if the items were returned.''
Pukekohe Police's Senior Constable Leanne Modrich said police were still investigating the incident.
''We have got someone in mind but at this stage there is insufficient [evidence] to charge someone,'' she said.
The offenders will face charges of theft ex-car, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment, if they are caught.
If you have any information regarding the incident or have seen someone in possession of St John equipment they should not have, call the Pukekohe Police Station on 09 261 1300 or CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111
- Waikato Times