A CALLOUS thief stole from an ambulance parked up while paramedics were dealing with an incident.

The foul theft happened in Shakespeare Road, Popley, yesterday (Thursday) at around 5.30pm.

The ambulance was broken into with a navy blue Cath Kidson handbag with cream polka dots stolen, along with three pairs of Rayban sunglasses, work ID, a sets of keys, a paramedic handbook, two epi-pens and an iPhone charger.

The thief even made off with lunch the paramedic crew had stored for their shift.

Due to the vehicle's radio also being damaged as the thief attempted to steal the item too, the ambulance had to be taken off the road.

One of the paramedics told a Gazette reporter they wanted to make a personal appeal to the person who stole their items to return them.

Meanwhile, a JustGiving page has been set up in response to the thefts, after the crime was flagged up on social media.

Mark Butler set up the appeal, in aid of South Central Ambulance Service, writing on the page: "I thought it would be great if we could do something positive.

"The theft and vandalism might have only have been quite small in terms of monetary value, but it can have a massive effect on staff morale and ability to perform their work.

"Hopefully, most of us will never need to call upon the ambulance service, but we can all take comfort in knowing they’re there if ever we need."

One of the paramedics involved praised the community response to the theft.

Dan Leadbetter posted on a police Facebook appeal after the theft: "Myself and my colleague who were the crew are so grateful and humbled for the support shown by everyone. We never in a million years expected anything like this to happen and all staff within South Central Ambulance Service are proud to serve Basingstoke and the surrounding areas.

"Once again thank you for all your support."

SCAS added on Facebook: "The strength and humanity displayed in times like this shows us that community spirit is so much stronger than the irrational actions of some individuals. Thank you so much to our communities for your support."

To donate, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/apologiesfrombasingstoke.