PRESCOTT, Ariz. — A housekeeping employee at a Prescott hospital was arrested and subsequently fired after he was caught ripping off personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies in recent weeks as the coronavirus outbreak unfolded, police said Saturday.
The suspect was identified as Keith Brown, 49, of Prescott, reported Reading Eagle. He was arrested Friday at Yavapai Regional Medical Center on suspicion of one count each of theft and fraud after police found numerous items valued at $1,700 in Brown’s vehicle and residence, police Lt. Jon Brambila said.
The stolen items recovered by investigators included gloves, hand sanitizer, surgical scrubs, wash clothes, paper towels, masks, bleach cleaner, toilet paper and an automatic hand sanitizer, according to Brambila.
The police investigation began after hospital officials called abut a possible theft, Brambila said.
Once the items are deemed safe, they’ll be returned to the hopsital, police said.
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It was unclear what Brown intended to do with the items. Presumably he had some form of “fence” in mind in order to financially profit from the theft.
Prescott is the seat of largely rural Yavapai County in north—central Arizona. The county as of Saturday had 43 coronavirus cases, according to the state Department of Health Services.