Christmas presents stolen from children's hospital

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 18 2012 07:32 PM | Updated as of Dec 19 2012 03:33 AM

LONDON - Police appealed for help on Tuesday to find the thief who stole Christmas presents destined for sick children at London's world-famous Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The wrapped presents, which included portable DVD players, DVDs, Nintendo consoles, games and toys, were provided by the hospital's charity fund and were intended for children being treated in the intensive care unit.

Inspector Neal Anderson of Scotland Yard said the theft was "beyond belief".

However, within hours of the news being made public, the hospital announced that one of its long-term supporters had stepped in to buy new gifts.

"We have been overwhelmed by generous offers from individuals and companies to replace the missing items," said a spokeswoman.

"These items have now been replaced by a long-term supporter. Thank you to everyone who has contacted us for their concern and kindness."

Police said the presents had been stolen between Friday and Monday from an area of the hospital that was not open to the public.

"To steal presents that were supposed to be for children too sick to be at home with their families at Christmas is beyond belief," said Anderson.

He urged anyone with information to contact police, adding: "I would also urge the thief to try and think about their actions and do the decent thing and return them."