© iStockStock image of an ambulance.
A military veteran has been robbed while laying dying on a bus after suffering a heart attack.
Raymond Bass, of Richmond, Virginia, was making his way to a hospital appointment at McGuire VA Medical Center when he became ill on board a GRTC bus at the corner of 1st Street and Federal Street.
Police said that instead of helping Bass, a fellow passenger, who they have named as 20-year-old Damontea Chappell, allegedly rifled through his pocket and stole his wallet as he lay dying.
It is understood police launched an investigation after concerns were raised as to why Bass's wallet was empty when he was always known to carry cash with him.
Video footage captured on board the bus shows a man kicking Bass's foot and saying: "Hey, pops."
The man is then seen slipping something into his own pocket.
Bass, who was an Air Force mechanic responsible for maintaining planes, died last Thursday.
In a letter shared with WTVR CBS 6 news channel, Bass's common-law wife, Renee Scott, condemned the alleged theft and said: "Whoever the person is who went in Ray's wallet as he lay there deceased, has no soul and represents the devil. God is stronger and he will find you."
Speaking on air, the veteran's niece, Cassandra Bass, described her uncle as "like a dad" and said the family was struggling to come to terms with his death.
She also condemned the man who stole his wallet and said there were too many people like that, whereas her uncle would have done anything for anyone.
Describing the thief, she said: "The scum of the earth, bottom feeders and there's a lot out here among us.
"Calling him pops as if he knew him. He wasn't trying to help him at all. You could see he was actually kicking him to make sure he wasn't moving and dead before he went into his wallet."
Bass said her uncle's sudden death has hit the family hard.
"My dad's deceased so he was like a dad to me. He was a family man, a very devoted family man. He'd do anything for his family, his loved ones.
"Like most men they like to keep that health thing to themselves. I guess they don't want the family to worry. That's why this sudden death thing kind of hit us really hard."
Local media reported that Chappell handed himself in to police on Wednesday and the investigation into the incident continues.
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