Hospital theft leaves woman in predicament

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times

A Brunswick support worker has spoken out about her disgust at being the victim of a brazen robbery while visiting patients at Bunbury Hospital with her therapy dogs.

Louise Symonds was on one of her regular visits to the palliative care ward at St John of God with her dogs Jethro and Buddy on March 4 when her handbag was stolen from inside the hospital.

After realising her bag was gone, Mrs Symonds soon discovered the thieves had used her car keys to steal her Hyundai Getz parked outside.

Mrs Symonds said the heartless theft had left her feeling sick and concerned that more vulnerable people could be targeted.

“I was clearly visiting someone in hospital when this happened,” Mrs Symonds said.

“The thought of someone sitting with a loved one who is sick and having something like this happen, it’s just the lowest of lows.

“For me, it was just the biggest inconvenience at the worst time.”

Along with her car, Mrs Symonds lost bank cards, mobile phone and belongings she had packed to spend a couple nights caring for a young disabled girl for whom she is a support worker.

“I run my own business and without my mobile phone, I’ve just lost all my business contacts,” Mrs Symonds said.

“I’m lucky I’ve had a friend who is away, so I’ve been using her car, but I don’t know what I would have done otherwise.”

Police have since charged two men over the incident and have recovered Mrs Symonds’ car.

The car was found abandoned in South Bunbury after an alleged police pursuit, which had to be aborted when thieves approached a 40kmh school zone on March 13.

Mrs Symonds is yet to find out what condition her car is in, with police telling her it needs to be forensically tested.

The two men are due to face court at a later date.

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