London Ambulance Service contractor ‘stole face masks to sell online during coronavirus pandemic’

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
The London Ambulance Service contractor was arrested over the alleged theft of face masks. (Getty)

Police have arrested a London Ambulance Service (LAS) contractor on suspicion of stealing face masks so that he could sell them online during the coronavirus crisis.

The man, who is in his 20s, is accused of stealing the personal protective equipment (PPE), along with other items, from stores in north London before selling them online.

He was held in Windmill Road, near Edmonton ambulance station, on Wednesday, but has since been bailed, while items recovered in searches have been returned to LAS.

The man stole face masks and other personal protective equipment. (Getty)

The Metropolitan Police said he had access to the sites because he was a contractor working with LAS.

Detective Inspector Jason Colby said: "I am saddened that anyone would take advantage of the NHS for their financial gain at such a critical time.

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"These masks are a vital piece of PPE for emergency service personnel and are used to keep both themselves and patients safe.

"We will continue to crack down on anyone attempting to take advantage of our emergency services for personal gain, especially at such an unprecedented time.

"We are grateful to those who are assisting our investigation.”

The Crown Prosecution Service has previously said some people are using the COVID-19 pandemic to commit criminal offences, including Ashaq Sattar, 40, who posed as an NHS volunteer.

He knocked on the doors of elderly and vulnerable victims in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, claiming he would collect their medicine for a small fee.

Sattar was jailed for a year at Leeds Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to five counts of fraud.

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