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Hospital loses vital cancer research to thieves

New HP box hadn't been backed up

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Police in Leeds are appealing for help tracking down a man suspected of stealing a computer containing developmental cancer research software that hadn't been backed up.

The HP desktop unit - described as containing "vital" original software - and a laptop were taken from the Bexley Wing of St James' Hospital at about 7.30pm on Sunday 2 August.

A man wearing a high visibility jacket and hard hat was caught on CCTV 15 minutes later wheeling the computers out of the hospital on a red trolley.

West Yorkshire Police suspect the man pictured right. After examining CCTV footage they believe the same man stole car keys from a staff room on 7 August.

A spokesman for St James' said the HP desktop was new and so the developmental radiotherapy software it contained wasn't backed up. He added that the theft had upset staff and may significantly delay their research.

Detective Sergeant Andy Dixon, leading the inquiry, said: "Someone may have bought a computer from this man and if that is the case I would urge them to get in touch with us.

"Information can be passed to us anonymously and my main concern is recovering this computer and the vital research it contains."

There's details of how to contact the inquiry here. St James' said patient data security had not been compromised. ®

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