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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | WEST COUNTY / VENTURA

Medical Gear Stolen From City Firetruck

November 04, 1998|NICK GREEN

As paramedics tended to an elderly fall victim at an east Ventura home, thieves stole more than $10,000 worth of lifesaving medical equipment from the firetruck parked outside, police said Tuesday.

The suspects are two men between 18 and 22 years old, authorities said. They were seen leaving the 8300 block of Balboa Street about 10 p.m. in a small red pickup truck with an old, light-colored camper shell.

Police and fire officials were disappointed and surprised that somebody would steal the $10,000 defibrillator, which is used to treat people with serious heart problems, and the $1,000 pediatric medical kit.

"The bad thing is when they take that stuff, it leaves it unavailable for the next emergency to assist the ill," said Ventura Fire Capt. Larry Carmona. "We do have one reserve piece of equipment in use right now--hopefully nothing happens to that."

Such equipment is placed on four fire engines scattered around the city.

Witnesses said the thieves had tailed firefighters as they responded to the emergency.

Just what the thieves intend to do with the highly-specialized equipment is unclear, since it can't be sold readily on the street, said Sgt. George Morris of the Ventura Police Department.

Moreover, in untrained hands, such equipment is potentially dangerous.

"These are not innocent little toys to play with," Morris said. "Used inappropriately they could seriously injure or kill somebody."

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Morris at 339-4474 or Det. Rick Cook at 339-4441.

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