Published: 13:36, 23 October 2019
| Updated: 13:51, 23 October 2019
Patients' and hospital workers' cars have been targeted during a spate of thefts at a hospital car park.
Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford has reported two thefts of catalytic converters in the last month and five in total since April.
Police were called last Wednesday following reports an emissions device had been pinched from an unattended car park.
A converter was taken from a community midwife's car.
The heist severely damaged the vehicle which had to be taken in for repairs, leaving the NHS worker without transport.
The emission control device helps reduce toxic gases by changing the gas coming out of the exhaust pipe into less harmful pollutants.
Catalytic converters are often stolen for the precious metals they contain which are essential to the clean up process.
Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, which oversees the healthcare provider's eight car parks, said it was working to improve the external CCTV.
Security staff have also increased car parking patrols on site.
Trust spokesman Sue Daniels said: "It is extremely disappointing that these thefts have occurred, especially on a hospital site where staff are busy caring for patient and the public are coming for treatment or to visit those that are unwell.
"We take these incidents extremely seriously and will always work with the police to secure a prosecution."
The hospital has urged all car owners to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately to our parking office and the police.
Officers are investigating the incidents.
Anybody with information which may help the investigation is asked to contact police on 01474 366149 quoting crime reference number 46/199790/19.
Alternatively call the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent anonymously on 0800 555111 or complete the online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
More by this authorSean Delaney