A family say they are “distraught” after two wedding rings were stolen off the fingers of an elderly relative who died in hospital.
The woman, who was in her 80s, was admitted to the Notley Ward at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex, on 6 June.
While she was in hospital, her daughter noticed her rings had been taped over, and the rings were not removed during any treatment, but when hospital staff were asked to remove the tape, it became clear that the rings had been replaced with low value “tin” rings.
The woman died after nine days in hospital.
PC Grimsey, of Essex Police, who is leading the investigation, said: “The rings were of sentimental value and the family are understandably distraught that this has happened.
“The rings signified happier times in the lady’s life, but her family are now robbed of those precious memories.
“One is a gold wedding band and one is a ruby and diamond ring.”
This is the second time this year rings have been stolen from dying women in Essex hospitals.
In May, Essex Police reported that a woman who had suffered a fall and was being treated at the Princess Alexandrea Hospital in Harlow, had her wedding and engagement rings stolen, valued at £13,500.
The two rings were on her hand when she was admitted and never removed during treatment over the three days while she was hospitalised before she died.
When her husband attempted to collect her possessions from the hospital, he found that the rings were missing from her hand.
Essex police has shared a photo of a similar ring to the one stolen and urged anyone who might have information to call 101, quoting reference 42/112803/21.