CHICAGO — An SUV with life-saving medical equipment worth $30,000 inside was stolen Tuesday when its driver was inside a West Ridge 7-Eleven.
The SUV belonged to a volunteer paramedic from Hatzalah Chicago, a nonprofit organization that gives medical service to people and takes them to hospitals during emergencies, said Shlomo Starck, a coordinator and paramedic with the group.
Inside the stolen Ford Escape was a heart monitor worth about $25,000, medications and other life-saving medical items, making the theft an “urgent matter,” Starck said.
The theft happened at 11:30 a.m.: The driver and his SUV, which had the medical supplies inside, were at the 7-Eleven at 2741 W. Touhy Ave. when it was stolen, Starck said.
Police said the stolen SUV had its keys left inside before the theft.
The volunteer paramedic, who’s been with the organization since it was founded in 2011, wasn’t injured, Starck said.
“He’s just really, really upset, to say the least, because this puts him out of service until he can get his equipment back,” Starck said.
Hatzalah Chicago, which works primarily with Chicago’s Jewish population but will serve anyone, provides the medical equipment to its volunteers. Starck said the group pays for the equipment with donations and support from community members, meaning if the stolen SUV and equipment aren’t found they’ll have to fundraise and the items won’t be easily replaceable.
“It’s going to be a big hit to the organization if we can’t find this equipment,” Hatzalah said.
The car was a 2018 silver Ford Escape with the license plate DL261BC. Anyone with information about the car was asked to call police at 911 and then call Hatzalah at 847-454-0800.
Hatzalah responds to about 1,400 calls per year from people in need of help, Starck said.