The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

March 15, 2013

Man has $25K heart pump controller stolen

LATROBE — A western Pennsylvania man is the victim of a theft that literally could become a matter of life or death.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that someone stole a heart pump controller and battery pack from 72-year-old Robert Baum's car last Saturday.

The Unity Township man needs the pump because of a leaky heart valve and always wears one controller while keeping a spare in his car. He says someone apparently stole the spare while he and his wife were shopping.

Baum thinks the thief might have believed they were stealing a camera, because the $25,000 device is stored in what looks like a camera bag.

For now, Baum has a secondary loaner device, but says he doesn't know yet whether insurance will pay for a permanent replacement or whether he'll have to buy one.


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