Toronto police are looking for three men suspected of stealing $1.2 million worth of medical equipment from Toronto Western Hospital on Saturday.
It’s alleged around 2:30 p.m., three men went to the fourth floor of the hospital, forced their way into a surgical area and took a total of 26 scopes used for colonoscopies and endoscopies. Two light sources and two video processors were also taken.
University Health Network spokeswoman Gillian Howard said the thieves broke locks and forced open a metal gate to gain access to the valuable equipment.
“All of the equipment that was stolen was behind locks and was secure,” she said.
She also said it didn’t appear to be a crime of opportunity, but rather a well-planned heist.
“It is quite clear I think if you look at the photography that these individuals knew where they were going. They came equipped to pack the material up.”
When asked if it could have been an inside job, Howard said that was up to police to determine, but added: “It certainly appears they knew where in the hospital they were going and that they came prepared to pack this equipment up.”
Howard said the hospital has been given loaner scopes from their supplier, but some appointments may have been affected.
“Clearly there are some patients who were booked on Monday that we couldn’t accommodate, but we also have other locations where we tried to do as much as we could very quickly. So it’s inconvenient to say the least. It’s not what anyone would want to happen but our supplier has been extremely generous in helping us.”
Toronto police Const. David Hopkinson backed Howard’s suspicions that the theft was well-planned and said the items, some of which could be worth upwards of $40,000, could be headed for the black market overseas.
“It can’t be dismissed that this type of material might be very valuable in a black market in other countries,” he said. “I believe it’s definitely possible that this is earmarked to be shipped overseas and sold.”
Police have released security camera photos of the three men.
The first is six feet tall, 35 to 45 years old and clean-shaven, with a medium build. He was last seen wearing a black English-style cap, a black three-quarter-length parka with a fur-lined hood, black pants and black shoes with white-silver eyelets.
The second suspect is five-foot-seven to five-foot-nine, 45 to 55 years old and clean-shaven, with short dark hair and a stocky build. He was last seen wearing a black English-style cap, black blazer, light-blue dress shirt, blue jeans and black shoes and carrying a large black and grey backpack.
The third is described as five-foot-seven to five-foot-nine and clean-shaven, with a medium build. He was last seen wearing a black winter toque, black winter jacket, black pants, black shoes with a white sole, and pulling a purple suitcase on wheels with an extendable handle.
They were driving a silver Honda Odyssey minivan, possibly an early 2000s model.
Anyone with information is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers.