AUSTIN -- Thieves have struck six Texas cities, taking a specialized stretcher from ambulances.
According to a state bulletin, they've taken Stryker brand stretchers from Houston, Bexar County, San Antonio, Georgetown, Round Rock, Temple and a private company in Austin.
The Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council is advising its members to take precaution to avoid becoming a victim.
"There is always someone out there trying to make some money off of someone, but we're not sure what the whole motive is for the stretcher being stolen," said Dave Reimer, executive director of Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council.
Reimer tells paramedics to lock up, watch the people around them and watch where they park.
"You can't really run an ambulance without a stretcher, so when it gets stolen it puts a tax on the organization to replace that," said Reimer.
Stryker stretchers have a hydraulic pump that lowers and raises the stretcher, making it less of a physical strain for paramedics. They can carry 700 pounds and cost more than $10,000.