Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC), located at 6461 El Apajo Drive in Rancho Santa Fe, California cares for animals that others take for granted and simply throws away. The men and women involved in the care of the orphaned animals rescued at HWAC are some of the most generous around. So, why then was one particular veterinarian the target of a thief while he was performing life-saving surgery on a horse that only had hours to live if not treated?
This particular equine surgeon’s vehicle was hit just minutes after pulling his SUV into the Center for the emergency surgery that was scheduled for early morning, 3:00 a.m. The ‘Grand Theft’ took place only feet from where the medical team of experts raced against the clock to perform the critical surgery on a horse battling colic with only hours to live. Out of his generosity and support for the animas, the doctor was repaid by losing his technology and personal items, including bank information.
Helen Woodward Animal Center is requesting the help of anyone in the community that potentially has any details or could possibly help with the identification of a person or persons of interest. These thefts have been occurring in the local area around HWAC. No one or no organization is without threat of losing their property! Dr. Richardson simply wants his items back.
The brazen and dangerous incident was actually caught on video by the Center’s security cameras. The image captured was possibly of an individual that has recently been targeting local schools, stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of computer equipment during early morning hours. The Center is asking the community for help identifying the individual.
Not only does HWAC rescue, rehabilitate and adopt out canines and felines, but they have a 24-hour Equine Hospital facility is prepared for emergency calls from across the county like the one that came to Dr. Richardson before2:00 a.m. yesterday morning. The crucial call was for a beloved horse who had taken so ill with colic, it had only an estimated 12-24 hours to live without intervention. When the call came, staff at the referring veterinarian in El Cajon, distraught horse owners, and the Center’s medical team on location coordinated transportation for the horse and prepared for its arrival. Within an hour, the Doctor and the animal arrived at the Center where the doctor pulled his car to the surgery door in a rush to save the ailing animal.
Within minutes, a man can be seen on their security camera footage walking across the property towards Dr. Richardson’s SUV. The same man is seen just two minutes later fleeing the scene with a bundle in his left arm suspected to contain the items the doctor found missing from his car hours later. The items, including Dr. Richardson’s iPad, personal belongings, and banking information; amounting to charges of grand theft.
The Center is releasing footage of the person of interest (View Video Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDNrncCc8UQ) in an effort to enlist the community’s help in the ongoing investigation being conducted by the San Diego Police Department. Any information may assist in protecting the community - especially in light of the technology-targeted thefts at local area schools. The investigating Deputy was quoted saying, “It doesn’t matter where you are, there are still people out there looking for opportunities.” Those with tips or information are encouraged to contact San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (858) 521-5200 immediately.