Lives put in danger by theft

Lismore Square senior centre manager Geoff Gooch at the empty cabinet which contained the stolen defibrillator, valued at $2000.
Lismore Square senior centre manager Geoff Gooch at the empty cabinet which contained the stolen defibrillator, valued at $2000. Jay Cronan

THIEVES stole a life-saving defibrillator at the Lismore Square Shopping Centre on Sunday night.

Closed circuit television footage, now with the police, shows two men with a young child taking the $2000 device from a cabinet just outside the centre management office at 7.10pm.

“Why would you steal something of this nature,” senior centre manager Geoff Gooch said.

The defibrillator is used as a first line treatment for peo-ple suffering a cardiac arrest by delivering a therapeutic dose of electricity to the heart.

Centre management staff, cleaners and security at the shopping centre have all been trained to use the equipment.

“They save lives,” Mr Gooch said. “It’s just stupid to steal it.”

The defibrillator was don-ated to the centre by the Rot-ary Club of Summerland Sunrise on January 18, 2008.

It was kept unlocked in a prominent place so it could be easily accessed during an emergency.

According to Mr Gooch, the footage shows two shirtless men entering the shopping centre with a girl about three years old in a shopping trolley. The men went into the centre’s toilets, leaving the child unattended for four minutes. When they left the toilets one was wearing a black jacket with the hood pulled over his head. He then took the device before leaving in the lift.

Crime manager Detective Inspector Greg Moore said the device used in the wrong hands could be life-threatening.

The first man was described as 165 to 175cm tall, of thin build with brown cropped hair, wearing black shorts with twin white stripes down the side and a black-hooded top when leaving the centre. The second man was 175 to 185cm tall and of medium build.

He wore a baseball cap, a blue-black singlet, red and white flower print board shorts and thongs. Anyone with information should call Lismore police on 6626 0599 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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