A thief who stole face masks from a London hospital has been jailed for three months.
Lerun Hussain, 34, pleaded guilty to theft at Croydon Magistrates’ Court.
The Metropolitan Police said Hussain, from Clapham, south London, was held by security staff at King’s College Hospital late on Sunday night after he stole three face masks.
Meanwhile, a doctors’ surgery in Kidderminster has urged thieves to return its only box of face masks after it was stolen from the practice.
Church Street Surgery said the protective equipment was necessary to keep the practice open after it was taken on Tuesday.
Since a social media appeal, the surgery said it had received a number of individual face mask donations which meant it could still continue to offer services.
The box of protective equipment had been donated by a local dental practice the day before.
West Mercia Police said they were aware of a reported theft and would be visiting the surgery on Wednesday.
After the face masks were stolen, Church Street Surgery said in a Facebook post: “Could the person who has stolen the only box of masks that we have in the building that were kindly donated by a local dental practice yesterday afternoon please return them to the practice.
“We need to protect our staff to enable us to remain open.”
The surgery then thanked people for their support after a number of face masks were donated following the theft.
In a separate post, the surgery said: “We are totally humbled by the kindness and generosity we have received today in light of the post we made this morning regarding our stolen masks.
“The messages of support have been overwhelming and we have received extremely generous donations of masks from individuals which now means we have enough to keep our staff safe until our official supplies arrive.
“From each and everyone of us at the practice we thank you for your generosity and your continued support during this extremely difficult and challenging time.”
Inspector Dave King, of the Kidderminster Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “My team is aware of the reported theft of face masks from the Church Street Surgery in Kidderminster and while not officially reported to us yet, we will be visiting the staff today.
“In these challenging and difficult times, the theft of vital medical equipment is going to add further strain and demand to the health service and the people looking after our welfare.
“While a crime like this is naturally going to upset and concern many in our community who see NHS staff risking their lives every day, the vast majority of people are doing all they can to support each other however they can.”