“Never been so disgusted in my life” man’s credit cards stolen while in Emergency Department

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
May 11, 2023 |

A Canterbury resident is questioning the efficiency of the justice system after having his credit cards stolen by a patient at Christchurch hospital’s emergency department and facing subsequent inaction by the police, despite providing solid evidence.

The incident occurred on Tuesday when Matthew drove himself to a hospital from Gore Bay, a small town near Cheviot, after sustaining an injury over the weekend.

Upon arrival at the emergency department, Matthew was admitted for multiple X-rays, CT scans, and an MRI. During his examination, he was administered morphine to manage his pain.

While Matthew was taken away for these tests, a man entered his hospital room, stole his credit cards from his wallet in his jeans, and took his business and personal cards.

Matthew said he only discovered the theft the following morning when he attempted to purchase prescription medication at a pharmacy.

“My gut told me straight away what had happened and after checking with the bank and making two phone calls, I had the exact suspect matching to a tee, including the owner of the hospital pharmacy confirming everything.”

Determined to catch the thief, Matthew identified a transaction at a hospital pharmacy where the suspect, still in his hospital gown, had used his stolen cards.

The pharmacist confirmed the suspect’s description and provided CCTV footage as evidence.

While on the phone to the pharmacist, the offender returned with a friend and tried to used Matthew’s cards, but thankfully they were blocked.

Despite providing the police with the suspect’s description, video evidence, and the man’s hospital room number, Matthew received a disheartening response.

“The police informed me that the case was not a priority and that they would try their best to address it.”

As of 12 hours after reporting the crime, the police had yet to respond or arrest the suspect, who remains at the hospital.

Matthew’s frustration is not only due to the theft but also the shocking news that he will never be able to participate in contact sports again due to his injuries.

Matthew expressed his disappointment: “as a born and raised Cantabrian, tax payer, and rate payer, to be robbed while in the emergency department and then catching the thief red-handed with all the evidence for nothing to be done, I am left absolutely devastated at our justice system and we, as people, need to act now.”

Police told Chris Lynch Media they were aware of the case but no one had been charged.

The hospital was asked to comment to provide reassurance to other patients that they’re safe despite a criminal stealing off another patient.

A spokeswoman said it was a police matter and wouldn’t comment.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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