Crime Hospital Worker Accused Of Stealing Almost $1,000 From COVID Patient's Wallet
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A hospital employee was arrested after she allegedly stole almost $1,000 from a COVID patient's wallet, according to police.
Yolanda Curtis-Deliz, 46, was taken into custody last Thursday and charged with grand theft, the Haines City Police Department in Florida said in a news release.
Police said Curtis-Deliz, a certified nursing assistant at AdventHealth Heart of Florida, was working in the COVID-19 ward of the hospital.
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She was working in the area of hospital restricted to COVID-19 patients when a man was admitted on February 19.
"The patient placed his wallet in a bedside table drawer when Curtis-Deliz insisted that he go to the bathroom to 'freshen up' while she 'refreshed" the room," police said in the release.
Police say when the patient returned from the bathroom, he noted the table where his wallet had been placed was turned in a different direction and the drawer was open.
"The patient happened to be a former law enforcement officer and was cognizant of the way the room was prior to leaving for the bathroom," police added.
When he opened his wallet, he discovered that $920 had been taken.
During the course of the investigation, Haines City police officers learned that Curtis-Deliz had an active warrant out of Osceola County for dealing in stolen property and providing false information to a pawn broker.
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Online records from the Polk County Sheriff's Office show Curtis-Deliz was booked into custody on Thursday and released after posting bond a day later.
The sheriff's office records also show Curtis-Deliz has multiple arrests for grand theft and other charges including fraudulent use of a credit card dating back to 2016.
In a statement, Haines police chief Jim Elensky condemned the alleged theft, and thanked hospital staff for aiding the police investigation.
"Curtis-Deliz does not represent the fine people working in the healthcare industry who have taken tremendous risk and worked tirelessly to care for patients during this global pandemic," Elensky said.
"Her egregious actions are unconscionable. I'm grateful for the hospital administration who were incredibly transparent, helpful, and worked closely with us throughout the course of this investigation."
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Detectives with the Haines City Police Department are also investigating other similar incidents at AdventHealth Heart of Florida. The hospital has been contacted for additional comment.
Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Haines City Police Department at 863-421-3636. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, contact Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477 (TIPS).
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