Coogee Courtyard owner Dave Martin urges thieves to return stolen defibrillator

The owner of a renowned Sydney cafe has issued an urgent plea after a lifesaving defibrillator was stolen from the busy beachside eatery.

Coogee Courtyard owner Dave Martin bought the expensive $3000 machine about a year ago in order to ensure people could access the lifesaving device in the event of a heart attack; however, the machine was stolen from its wall-mounted box sometime last week.

“There isn’t really one at the basin in Coogee. I thought it would be a good idea to buy one – basically for the community,” he said.

“I reckon it was some young drunk guys. Anyone with brains wouldn’t take it.”

At the time, the machine was located in its wall-mounted box near the cafe’s entrance, with Mr Martin believing the theft occurred at night when the cafe was unattended.

Automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) are used to revive people in the case of sudden cardiac arrest, with about 3800 people in NSW suffering from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year.

About 90 per cent of these instances result in death; however, CPR and defibrillation can increase survival rates by up to 70 per cent.

Following protocol, the AED was registered on the government’s register and unlocked and available to people at all times.

Mr Martin said he’d yet to report the theft to police and called on the offender to return the machine, no questions asked.

“I’m going to have to replace it because if someone needs it and there’s an empty box there, I’ll never forgive myself,” he said.

“Just bring it back. Put it back in the box and all will be forgiven, and the community will be happy again.

“It’s not something you’d expect to get stolen, it’s there for the good of everyone.”

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park lashed the theft as a “dog act” and called on the perpetrators to right their wrong.

“These devices aren’t toys,” he said.

“Not only are they expensive, more importantly, they save lives.

“This is a dog act. Whoever has taken it should just do the right thing and give it back before someone’s life is put at serious risk.”

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