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DECATUR — A patient who left her iPad behind in a hospital exam room later used an app to trace it to a member of the hospital’s cleaning staff, Decatur police said.

A sworn police affidavit said the 43-year-old former cleaner was arrested Friday for the May 16 incident in the HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital emergency room.

Detective Sgt. Steve Carroll said a persons wanted warrant was issued May 23, but “evidently we didn’t find her until the 5th.”

Writing in the affidavit, officer Noel Crystal said that after going back and finding her iPad missing, the 71-year-old owner fired up an app called “Find My iPad.” She was able to trace it to an address in the 600 block of East Condit Street.

Crystal said hospital security reviewed surveillance video, and the only person seen going into the exam room, except for other security staff, was “the housekeeping employee."

Crystal wrote: “As she (the suspect) turns her back to the overhead camera, a rectangle consistent with the size of an iPad can be seen beneath her clothes at the small of her back and waistline. It also happens that (her) home address is in the 600 block of East Condit.”

The woman was jailed on a preliminary charge of theft. She is free on $5,000 bond and is due to be arraigned Feb. 6.

Spokesman Andrew Dilbeck said the hospital does not comment on personnel matters, but he added: “At HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital we have a zero tolerance policy on theft and collaborate with law enforcement on situations brought to our attention.

“The care and safety of our patients is our top priority. This includes their security and the security of their items while they are on our campus.”


Staff Writer

Courts and public safety reporter for the Herald & Review.

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