THIEVES broke into an ambulance and stole its sat nav while paramedics were were helping a sick pensioner.

Ambulance crews went to Callan Grove, South Ockendon, after an elderly woman suffered a fall in her home.

They were inside for around 40 minutes tending to her, when the thieves broke into the vehicle and helped themselves to the £250 sat nav.

Katie Poel, spokeswoman for the Essex Ambulance service, was appalled at the theft. She said: “It is unbelievable anyone would steal such a vital piece of equipment from a vehicle used to transport sick and injured patients, including those in a time-critical condition where every moment counts.

“Sat navs are not the only navigation resource for ambulance crews while in transit, but they are an important one. This theft is sickeningly obstructive to our life- saving service.”

Laura Anderson, of Thurrock Police, also condemned the crooks. She added: “This is a crime of the most despicable sort.

“These paramedics were doing their job, helping a sick elderly woman when they were targeted.

“All of the equipment paramedics carry on board is vital in helping to save lives and for thieves to take it is utterly reckless.”

The theft happened between 6pm and 6.40pm on Thursday, February 5.

Call police with information on 0300 3334444.