Thieves strike at Royston medical firm

THIEVES struck at a medical delivery company twice in two days, preventing vital equipment from being delivered to hospitals across the country.

TMC Transportation of Jarman Way, Royston, was targeted in the early hours of Friday morning and Sunday night with two Mercedes Sprinter vans’ exhaust systems being cut away by criminals seeking catalytic converters.

A number of deliveries were affected, including one to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, and two in London.

Kev Nelson, transport manager for the firm, said: “We have a fleet of vehicles we use to deliver medical equipment all over the country.

“We have equipment for osteopathy, orthodontistry and plastic surgery.

“The hospitals hire them from some of the big companies and then they can buy them – we’re like a loan department.”

Hospitals order specialist equipment from the company and they have to deliver it quickly, otherwise booked operations can be cancelled.

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Mr Nelson said the delays incurred by the two thefts could account for around 20 per cent of a surgeon’s workload, and has hit out at the thieves as callous.

“They have the equipment booked for the day, not one operation,” he said.

“In one day they might do three or four operations, or they might have a whole week.

“Putting them back one day could be 20 per cent of their workload.”

The criminals removed the converters by first smashing the passenger side windows and reaching inside to pop the bonnets.

From there the entire exhaust systems were cut out to remove the catalytic converters, which contain precious metals and minerals.

Mr Nelson believes the converters are worth only about �500 scrap, but to replace them will set back his firm about �2,000.

Hertfordshire Constabulary is reviewing CCTV from TMC and neighbouring businesses.

Police say the two thefts are the first of their kind in Royston for three months.

Inspector Jason Thorne, said: “The theft of metal, whether it’s the catalytic converter from someone’s vehicle or the power cabling supplying electricity to a block of flats, can cause great inconvenience and frustration, but also put lives at risk.

“In this case the thefts have had a real impact on the victim’s business.

“We will be working under the new crime reduction initiative Operation Scorpion to tackle the issue and bring to justice those involved.

“Anyone who sees anything out of the ordinary that raises suspicions, please contact us immediately. Information that can be of considerable help to us is the registration number of vehicles.”

“Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact police via the non-emergency number, 0845 3300222, quoting crime reference G4/11/522.”

People can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.