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Cruel thief steals cash from good Samaritan who was helping save woman lying unconscious on train tracks

By Mason White 3:53 PM May 3, 2017
Anil Vannavalli (right)
Anil Vannavalli (right)
By: William Martin

(Scroll down for video) A thief took advantage of a good Samaritan, who was helping save an unconscious woman lying on train tracks, according to police in New Jersey.

The Edison Township Police Department said that the good Samaritan, who leaped onto the Central Avenue train station’s tracks to rescue another commuter who fainted and fell, had his backpack and laptop commuter stolen while he helped the ailing woman.

“This theft, perpetrated in the midst of such a selfless good deed, seems so very disgusting and outrageous,” said Police Chief Thomas Bryan.

Shortly after 7:40 a.m., Madhuri Recherla, 26, fainted and toppled off an Edison Train Station platform onto the northbound tracks, said investigating Officer James Navas.

Another commuter, who police later identified as Anil Vannavalli, dropped his backpack on the northbound platform and leaped onto the train tracks to carry the unconscious Edison woman to safety, police said.

While Vannavalli was doing that, police said a thief stole the 34-year-old Piscataway man’s backpack, containing his laptop computer and headphones, valued at $700.

The backpack also contained about $200 in cash, and his work identification card, police said. Recherla was semi-conscious when Officers Navas and Lisa Cimmino arrived at the train station.

She was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center in New Brunswick, for treatment.

Later in the day, Vannavalli was given a $1,000 check from Edison PBA Local #75, which is the union that represents Edison Police Officers, as a way to thank him for his selfless act as well as a way to make up for the loss of his belongings, which were stolen.