Vancouver paramedic has stolen gear returned

A Vancouver paramedic whose gear was stolen from her vehicle earlier this week says it has been returned to her safe and sound.

Annelie Van der Heyden had returned to her East Vancouver home on Sunday night after a marathon shift with BC Emergency Health Services.

She had packed a bag with medical gear — two sets of her uniform, a number of masks, and a green stethoscope — and left it in her car instead of taking it inside to reduce the risk of transmission amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The next day, she saw that someone had broken into her vehicle’s trunk, and that the bag and its contents were gone.

On Thursday night, a local fire hall contacted one of Van der Heyden’s colleagues, saying two people from a neighbourhood shelter had brought her bag to them.

The equipment, after being sanitized by the firefighers, is back with Van der Heyden, who later visited the shelter to thank the people who’d returned it in person.

She said she received an outpouring of support from the public after the theft made the news, including an online fundraiser.

Now that her stolen items have been returned, she plans to give the money to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

“This has been a beautiful experience to see it come full circle, and now be able to take all the kindness and support that’s come to me and give back.”

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