Lister patient has valuables stolen while in emergency surgery

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- Credit: Archant

A hospital patient undergoing emergency surgery had her valuables stolen by a woman pretending to be her sister.

The patient was having a hernia operation at Lister Hospital in Stevenage when her purse and mobile phone were taken from a ward.

Police are investigating the incident, which took place sometime between 2pm and 2.20pm on Friday, November 29.

“The offender entered the ward and took the purse and the phone,” said a spokesman for Herts police. “She was claiming to be the victim’s sister.”

A spokesman for the East and North Herts NHS Trust, which runs Lister, said the patient was given the opportunity of putting her valuables in a safe before she went into surgery but declined to do so.

When she returned from surgery later that afternoon the items had been taken.

The Trust spokesman said: “Sadly wards are open, busy areas - a fact that can be exploited by a determined thief, which appears to have been the case here.

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“We will, of course, co-operate fully with the police investigation.

“The highly regrettable theft this patient suffered underlines the importance of encouraging patients to use the secure storage provided - thieves do not respect hospitals or its patients.”

Anyone with information about the theft should call Herts police on the non-emergency number 101 and quote crime reference number E1/13/6851.