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Staffordshire Police are issuing a warning after gas cylinders have been stolen from two hospitals in Staffordshire in the last five days.

The most recent theft took place at around 1.35am on Wednesday 4 April 2018 at Stafford County Hospital when a storage room was forced and two gas cylinders containing oxygen were stolen.

This follows an attempted burglary at Cannock Chase Hospital that took place at around 12.30am, where an unknown offender had attempted to gain access to an outbuilding used for storage.

At 1.15am on Saturday (31 March 2018), three men wearing dark clothing forced entry into a storage room at Cannock Chase Hospital and stole 13 bottles of nitrous oxide. They escaped in a silver Peugeot 307.

Nitrous oxide can be a dangerous substance if it is misused or consumed without medical supervision. The content of the canisters cannot be verified and any attempt to interfere with the pressurised cylinders may result in serious injury if they are not handled correctly.

Anyone who is offered this substance, sees discarded cylinders, or has any information relating to the incidents is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 139 of 4 April. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you wish to remain anonymous.

*UPDATE 8/4/18

Seven people have been arrested in connection with a spate of thefts of nitrous oxide cylinders at medical premises in Staffordshire.

Following an attempted burglary at Cannock Hospital at 1.30am yesterday morning (6 April), a 47-year-old woman, and six men between the ages of 20 and 39-years-old, all from the Norwich area, were arrested on suspicion of burglary.

All seven were travelling in three vehicles in the Winson Green area of Birmingham. Enquiries are on-going.

Chief Inspector Sarah Wainwright, Commander for Cannock Chase District local policing team, said: “These arrests are a result of shared intelligence and collaborative working between Staffordshire Police and our colleagues at West Midlands Police, Norfolk Constabulary and the Central Motorway Police Group . We will continue to work alongside them as our investigation continues.”