Abbotsford police are asking for the public's help in tracking down a defibrillator that was stolen out of an ambulance.

A portable automated external defibrillator (AED) was taken out of the back of a vehicle on Sunday, police said. It was reported missing from an ambulance station in the 2000-block of Abbotsford Way, but may have been stolen from another location.

AEDs are used to detect life-threatening heart problems, and send a course of electrical current through a body of a patient to shock their heart. The shock gives a heart with an irregular heartbeat a chance to restart at a normal rate.

"It's a pretty despicable crime… Its value in terms of life-saving is crucial," Const. Ian MacDonald told CTV News on Tuesday.

Although the device is expensive, it won't have much of a resale value. Officers are hopeful that someone will return the missing AED.

"This is something that would assist you or your family members or your loved ones if they're in medical distress, and that's why we think it's exceedingly important that people phone us with any information, and if there is somebody out there with their hands on it, they should return it," MacDonald said.

The Abbotsford Police Department can be reached on its non-emergency line at 604-859-5225.