Police have arrested one man and are looking for another in the theft of $7,000 worth of jewelry from an unconscious elderly woman shortly before she died in a Toronto hospital.

Const. Tony Vella said the family had just left the woman’s bedside vigil in the palliative care unit to get some coffee when the robbers struck Tuesday. The family alerted police when they returned and noticed some misplaced items.

“These were family heirlooms ... a gold necklace, a diamond ring,” Vella said.

By the time police arrived around 8:45 p.m., the woman had died.

In a cruel twist of fate, Vella said the woman, who was in her 70s, had been the victim of a previous robbery in her home.

“That’s why she had so much jewelry with her at the hospital,” Vella said. “She had been victimized so she brought these items to the hospital to safeguard against theft.”

Rocky Prosser, manager of protection services at Toronto East General, said security measures are adequate but the hospital will review its procedures. Investigators allege the two men worked their way through each floor of the hospital after entering around 8 p.m.

– With files from the Canadian Press