NHS staff were among those to have their catalytic converters stolen in a spree at Great Western Hospital last week. 

Police received five reports between 8am and 9.30pm on Friday, April 23, about tampering with vehicles parked in the Swindon hospital car park. 

PC Sean Magee lambasted the "heartless acts" of the thieves.

“Understandably, this has caused a considerable amount of stress to the victims, some of whom were working at the hospital at the time of the incident, not to mention the financial implications and their ability to get to work whilst their vehicles are off the road for repair," he said. 

“It is a heartless act targeting those whilst at work helping the public in the middle of a pandemic and we will do all we can to bring those responsible to justice.

“Anyone who may have seen the vehicle mentioned, seen any suspicious behaviour or have dash cam footage from the hospital car park on the day of these incidents is asked to call us on 101."

He said a suspicious white-coloured car or van was seen in the car park at around 3.20pm.

A spokeswoman for GWH said: “These thefts are incredibly distressing for our staff, patients and visitors and we are working closely with Wiltshire Police to offer them as much support as possible, including CCTV footage from the day of the incident.”

Tips for beating the car thieves

Following the thefts, Wiltshire Police urged people to think about the security of parked and unattended cars and vehicles.

Officers' tips for keeping cars safe include: 

  • Park your car in a locked garage where possible, but if this isn’t an option, then park it in a well-lit and well-populated area#
  • If parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other cars or close to a fence, wall or a kerb to make the theft more difficult
  • If your catalytic converter is bolted on, you can ask for your local garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove.
  • Etch a serial number on the converter or buy a cage clamp, a type of cage that is locked around the converter.

Anyone with information about the thefts at GWH is asked to call Wiltshire Police on 101.