Thieves steal food parcels from doorsteps of vulnerable people shielding from coronavirus

Vulnerable people including transplant patients and cancer sufferers have had food parcels stolen from their doorsteps, police have said.

Shielded people who have been deemed those most at risk if they catch Covid-19 receive regular deliveries while they go through an extreme form of social distancing to keep themselves safe.

Cleveland Police said it has received reports from local councils and on social media that thieves have stolen these crucial parcels.

The force said victims were extremely vulnerable groups, including organ transplant recipients, cancer patients, those suffering severe lung conditions, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women with heart conditions.

Chief Superintendent Thom McLoughlin, head of local policing at Cleveland Police, said: “In itself this is appalling but the concern is that ultimately this may force those shielding to venture out to source food supplies putting themselves or family members at additional risk.

“Every day our officers on the streets see evidence of communities coming together in unity against Covid-19, every Thursday we hear the clapping for our amazing NHS and carers, and we see story after story on social media of heroism and sacrifice.

“We will not let the actions of a few heartless criminals tarnish the work of so many and we will make every effort to bring them to justice.”

Anyone who has had a parcel stolen is asked to call 101 and to report the crime.

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