Culprit still at large

Crime: Police are on the look out for a man who had robbed two patients at the Thimphu national referral hospital in the early hours of January 24.

The man rushing out of the hospital was, however, caught on the hospital’s CCTV camera. The footage shows a middle-aged man, dressed in black pants and jacket, fleeing from the hospital corridor.

One patient, Jigme Choeda who was admitted in the ENT ward lost his phone worth Nu 47,000. The other patient, an old woman lost Nu 7,500.

The patient had hidden his mobile under the pillow after he was cautioned about such incidents at the hospital. Jigme Choeda’s attendant said that a patient in the ward saw the intruder entering the ward pretending to be looking for something.

“My mobile phone was also kept on the pillow but the thief only took his mobile,” said that 46-year-old attendant. “A patient saw the man stealing the phone and screamed. I rushed out to chase the man but he was too fast for me,” said the attendant.

By the time the attendant reached the second floor of the hospital, the culprit had left the building.

The security guard at the exit saw the man came running. The attended said that the guard had allowed a man who was there using the Wifi services to enter and use the toilet upstairs.

“The guard said that the man left his phone with him since he was downloading something and was not complete,” said the attendant. “However, in the morning the same guard told us a different story. When I tried to question him further, he almost became physical with me.”

The head guard at the hospital, Sonam, said that upon reviewing the CCTV footage, the person caught on the camera and the one the guard allowed to use the toilet were different. “We can say the two persons are different from the time recorded in the camera,” he said. “The robbery took place at around 3:03am but the man who was using the Wifi had left the building before 3am.”

Meanwhile the CCTV footage has been submitted to the police. Police said that it will be difficult to identify the person from the footage since it is not clear.

Similar cases have been reported in the past also. Sonam said that two months ago, two buglers were caught and were handed over to police. However, he added that such cases are still prevalent despite all the efforts taken by the authorities concerned.

Hereafter, four security guards will be deployed during the night to patrol the compound.

Younten Tshedup