Thieves steal from dying woman

YOU'RE a disgrace!That is the message today to despicable thieves whose greed is behind a sudden increase in the number of thefts at Ipswich Hospital.

YOU'RE a disgrace!

That is the message today to despicable thieves whose greed is behind a sudden increase in the number of thefts at Ipswich Hospital.

During the past few weeks hospital staff have noticed more crimes in the admission areas of the hospital as degraded criminals steal from vulnerable patients.

One pensioner, who did not want to be named, wept as he told how his wife's purse was stolen while she was dying in Capel Ward. She knew nothing of what happened.

The 72-year-old said: “I couldn't believe it. A hospital should be a safe place; I can't understand why someone would steal from someone in hospital.

“The money doesn't matter to me but the thought of it is horrible. I really hope it doesn't happen to anyone else.”

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Already this month there have been three thefts of personal items such as cash, keys and wallets, and in response to the growing problem managers at the hospital have produced a poster warning of the dangers.

Jan Rowsell, hospital spokeswoman, said: “Three thefts is a lot for us.

“The hospital is part of the community and the community is part of the hospital and whatever happens in the community is reflected in the hospital.

“We are doing everything we can to stop the thefts and a police investigation is underway.”

She said the increase in the number of thefts had been particularly noticeable in the admission areas of the hospital and that posters to ask patients and visitors to look after their belongings had been put up around the Heath Road site.

She added: “We understand it (theft) can bring stress and anxiety. They (the thieves) are horrible.

“We are increasing our messages about being aware of security.

“We urge people wherever possible not to bring in valuables, jewellery or large amounts of money.”

Anyone with information about the thefts should call Pc Caroline Sayer or Pc Jane Corbett at Suffolk police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Have you been a victim of theft from Ipswich Hospital? Contact The Evening Star news desk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.

Victim's view

One of the victims of the mini crime spree at Ipswich Hospital was a dying woman whose husband has been left sickened by the depths the thieves stooped to.

The 72-year-old Ipswich man, who did not want to give his name, only realised what had happened once his beloved wife died on New Year's Eve.

He said: “She went into hospital on December 12 and on about the 19th when she was in Capel Ward she said 'I have a purse in my bag' and I said 'no you haven't' because I had looked for it and couldn't find it.

“After she died I was looking for my car keys and realised they were in her purse which had quite a bit of money in it, but the purse had gone.

“She was meticulous about looking after things so it must have been stolen.”

The man said he was grateful that his 73-year-old wife, who died of cancer, never knew what had happened.