Thieves Steal Human Tissue, Surgery Equipment - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Thieves Steal Human Tissue, Surgery Equipment

Rusty Ho Rusty Ho

By Leland Kim

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Thieves made off with some grisly surgery supplies over the weekend. We learned about it through our "Talk Story" line. The stolen items are valuable to doctors, but worthless to thieves.

"Basically, these are the tubs that were in the car that were stolen," said Rusty Ho, a surgery supplies distributor. "They looked like this and inside of them, this is the exact replica of the tub the implants had."

Ho delivers surgery equipment to hospitals, but now a big chunk of his inventory is gone, stolen by thieves who targeted his SUV.

"The tubs were full of orthopedic hip implants that we use for replacing hips," said Ho. "Particularly that day we had also done revision hip surgery where we used human allograft tissue."

It is basically ground up human bone, used to fill in holes during hip or knee replacement surgery. While these supplies are valuable to surgeons, they are practically worthless on the black market.

"Basically they have no street value at all," said Ho. "None of these implants can be sold on the streets and they can't be recycled."

Thieves stole the supplies from an SUV parked in this parking lot. They took one bin Friday night, but they weren't done just yet. The next day, ho's brother went to check on the car with security guards.

"When they came back down, the suspects were removing more tubs out of the car," said Ho. "He didn't realize they were doing that because they kind of jumped in the car and drove off."

They took two more tubs on Saturday. The total value of the loss is about $50,000. Ho just wants his supplies back.

"I would hope they could just return them so that we can get them back and put them back in our inventory so that we can continue to help these patients as they need these implants," he said.

Ho said the suspects drove off in an older-model white Dodge van with a stolen license plate. At this point, police have no leads.

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