Medical equipment stolen from emergency responders in Miami Beach

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A volunteer emergency medical technician said medical equipment was stolen from the back of his car, Friday, depriving him of tools that can save lives.

Eli Feldman is a mental health therapist by day on Miami Beach and volunteers as an emergency medical technician during his off time. He volunteers for Hatzalah, a national organization that serves the Jewish community by training volunteer EMTs. “Friday morning, I get into my car, I noticed the indicator showing the back window was open, so I pop it open and see that it’s empty,” Feldman said.

Crime scene investigators showed up on North Bay Road and are investigating the theft.

The car’s trunk had an EMT vest in it, so the thieves could have seen that the equipment belonged to medical responders.

Hatzalah has multiple branches in South Florida, including Miami Beach, Aventura, Bal Harbor and North Miami Beach.

Several years ago in North Miami Beach, someone also broke into a volunteer’s car and stole life-saving medical equipment.

Feldman thinks that the thieves might have been looking for drugs. “It looks like a medical bag. Maybe they think there’s drugs in there. Maybe they think there’s something important in there,” Feldman said. “It’s just really a shame.”

Hatzalah volunteers said the thieves only deprived the community of equipment that could save lives. “It’s a big deal,” said a Hatzalah volunteer. “We’re missing valuable medical equipment that, if we respond to a call, we’ll be unprepared for.”

“It’s a beautiful neighborhood, multi-million dollar homes here, celebrities living up and down the streets,” Feldman said, “and I’ve heard from police and other sources that this happens here quite often.”

Feldman said, even though the contents are worth thousands of dollars, he just wants the equipment back so he can respond to medical emergencies. “To us, it’s not even the money. It’s life-saving,” Feldman said.

If you have any information on this theft, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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