coronavirus

Porch Pirate Steals Boxes of Face Masks and Shields in Ukrainian Village

Dr. Jane Lee said the boxes were dropped off by friends who hoped to help her hospital amid a shortage of protective gear

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A Chicago trauma surgeon says a porch thief stole boxes of face masks and shields that were intended to help health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The unidentified person was caught on camera stealing multiple boxes at around 7:30 Wednesday night in the city's Ukrainian Village neighborhood.

Dr. Jane Lee, the intended recipient, a trauma surgeon at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, said one of the boxes contained face shields that a friend had made for frontline health care workers. A second box was full of masks donated by another friend — amid a shortage of personal protective equipment nationwide.

"It definitely would have been enough for at least one of our COVID ICUs, and face shields are an item that can be reused," she added. "We would have gotten a lot of use out of them."

Dr. Lee discovered the packages were missing after returning from one of her several 12-hour shifts.

"...Just coming home from a long day. And to have that be the icing on the cake you know. Of course doesn’t feel good," she said. "Discouraging."

Dr. Lee said she hopes that whoever took the items either returns them or brings them to the hospital.

"If for whatever reason they regret their decision and would like to return the supplies, I would welcome them back no questions," the trauma surgeon said.

Dr. Lee added that "she would rather have the supplies than go after somebody."

"My address is on the box," she said. "They can return it there. Otherwise they can bring it to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. As long as we get them back it would be great."

The trauma surgeon stated that she's advocating to get supplies during the PPE shortage, but the hospital is making what they have last.

Anyone who wishes to donate to the hospital is encouraged to visit Advocate Health System's website.

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