Published: 12:21, 10 April 2020
| Updated: 12:31, 10 April 2020
Heartless thieves have targeted vehicles belonging to NHS workers fighting on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.
Three members of staff at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford left work yesterday to find the catalytic converters have been ripped from their vehicles, which had been left in the staff car park.
A spokesman for the hospital said: "We are very sad to report that yesterday three of our NHS staff members had the catalytic converter stolen from their vehicles whilst parked in the staff car park.
"Whilst their cars were being stripped and damaged, the staff members were busy caring for our patients during this pandemic.
"These thefts have been captured on CCTV and reported to the police, however we would like to raise staff and public awareness to assist with crime prevention.
"Recently the Trust has made a significant investment to improve the external CCTV camera system and the security teams make regular patrols, however catalytic converters can be removed in minutes.
"We urge all car owners to remain vigilant and to make contact immediately with both Saba our car parking operators on 01322 222780, and the police if they are a victim of this offence on site, or if they see or hear anything which causes them concern, such as a suspicious vehicle or activity."
Catalytic converters are fitted to vehicles to help reduce the toxic gases and pollutants emitted in exhaust fumes.
But theft of the devices has become popular due to the speed with which they can be stolen, their lack of identifying markings, and the value of metals they contain, such as platinum and palladium.
Police have been approached for more information.