LIFE-SAVING equipment, stolen from outside Cleator Moor’s Civic Hall, has been found.

Residents were left devastated after callous thieves stole the town’s communal defibrillator in the early hours of Friday morning.

But a member of the public found the abandoned defib on Monday and handed it in to police.

Civic Hall chairman Bill Morley slammed the thieves, saying they had put lives at risk, with the defib having been used several times since it was installed in 2016.

“I want to tell the person who stole it how serious the crime they’ve committed is,” he said.

“The defibrillator could be needed at any given time, and stealing it put people in danger.”

The emergency equipment had been provided through fundraising and would have cost in the region of £1,900 to replace if it had not been found.

“I feel so sad that someone could endanger other people’s lives like this,” he added.

Cleator Moor town councillor Joan Hully was also shocked by the “mindless” theft, adding: “It was a crying shame – the Civic Hall raised the money for it, so for someone to steal it is awful. Anyone could need the emergency services at some point, and there could potentially be a death because it was taken.”

Police praised the community for their aid in finding the stolen piece of equipment.

But added that it was not yet over as the hunt for the thieves would continue.

A police spokesman said: “We would like to thank the public fr their help but continue to appeal for information as we investigate the theft. Enquiries are still ongoing.”

PC Holt, who is investigating the theft, added: “This defibrillator was purchased via fundraising for the benefit of the local community at a time of urgent need, as the area had no provision before.

“These machines are a vital resource and can make the difference between life and death.

“I would urge anyone with information in relation to this theft to contact police via 101, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”