People are fundraising for a group of NHS staff working on the front line of the pandemic at Darent Valley Hospital after they were all targeted by catalytic converter thieves.
The vehicles were all parked on Darenth Valley Road in the staff car park, and are understood to have been targeted between 8am and 5:30pm on January 11.
Kent Police have since shared a public appeal seeking information. At present no suspects have been identified however officers from the Dartford Community Safety Unit are conducting enquiries to establish the full circumstances.
Inspector Sarah Rivett said that vehicle crime has a “big and financial impact” on its victims.
“It is particularly unpleasant that the offenders of this case think nothing of stealing from key workers who are providing exceptional care during a time of unprecedented difficulty and demand.
“We are reviewing the circumstances and will explore every reasonable line of enquiry. As part of this work, we would like to hear from anyone who has information, no matter how small, that can assist us.”
But the community has also stepped up to help the nurses with a fundraising page which has already seen an outpouring of support and raised over £1,300.
Started by James Karat who lives nearby the hospital, the fundraiser is attempting to cover any insurance claims, premium hikes or related travel costs and has passed its £800 within 24-hours.
Responding after the first day of fundraising, James said: “Thank you all who have donated, the response has been amazing and I am sure the nurses will be most humbled by your very kind donations.
“I hope this feedback gives them the inspiration to continue their amazing work and believe in humanity despite some of those who are not human.”
Anyone who may have seen something suspicious in the area, or who was driving nearby and believes their dash cameras have caught something suspicious, is asked to call police on 01474 366149 quoting 46/6159/21.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or complete the online form available via this link.