Police investigators have sent out kudos to members of the public who provided them with critical information which led to the recovery of a mobile health clinic that was stolen from the compound of the Port-of-Spain General Hospital yesterday morning.
The Mitsubishi Mobile Screening Clinic, licensed TCB 141, was recovered nine hours after it was stolen at a dead end street at Gopaul Park, off St Lucien Road in Diego Martin.
According to a police report, at about 5.15 am someone posing as a driver presented what appeared to be a North West Regional Health Authority’s identification card to the security guard on duty.
The key was subsequently handed over and the man drove off the compound with the truck which, fortunately, was not loaded with thousands of dollars worth of medical equipment because it was not due to be used yesterday. The unit is used for HIV testing and screening.
The T&T Guardian was told by residents in the area that they noticed the truck parked on the street from about 8 am.
“We thought the clinic move into the area to give us check-ups but then we ain’t see nothing again happening and we began to have suspicions. Is only when we heard about it being stolen we realised that that is it, so we called in the police,” one resident said, who wished not to be identified, said.
Police said with the assistance of residents along with intelligence gathering they were able to make a quick breakthrough. Police also confirmed that all the medical equipment in the vehicle was intact.
Officers said last evening that an arrest is imminent.
Sgt Christopher Swamber of the Stolen Vehicles Squad is leading the investigations.
Contacted last evening, NWRHA chief executive officer Wendy Ali said whilst the incident was not deemed a security issue per see, it had put them somewhat on the alert.
“This was fraud where someone purported to be someone else, so it’s fraud, so it’s not a matter of whether or not we have to beef up security at this point,” Ali said.
She added that the NWRHA was yet to receive the police report officially and until then would not know their next move.
Ali also commended the officers for quick actions.
“I want to thank the officers for their active pursuit of the matter. As soon as they got the report they started acting...doing their investigations and I just want to thank them.”