Patient Accused Of Stealing From Hospital - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Patient Accused Of Stealing From Hospital

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by Janet Kim

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A Putnam County couple has been accused of stealing from an area hospital after police said the incident was caught on surveillance cameras.

Officials with the Cookeville Police Department said Charles Dennis and Laura Dennis have been charged with misdemeanor theft. Police said the suspects targeted Cookeville Regional Medical Center for something other than hospital care.

"We have televisions in every room and we want to be very patient friendly so we have those nice conveniences available for our families," said Melahn Finley with Cookeville Regional Medical Center.

Those simple conveniences could even be found in break rooms, until one turned up missing.

"Certainly it was an inconvenience to those families who went into that room later on to release and get away from the pressures and stress of sick loved ones," said Finley.

Cookeville Police said someone ripped the 32 inch Samsung flat screen right off the wall, and the suspect was even caught on security cameras.

"Back in July of last year, there was a man seen on video tape at the hospital, leaving the hospital with an item in his lap, covered with a sheet," said Cookeville Police Lieutenant Carl Sells.

Hospital officials quickly identified the suspect, but they never thought it was someone receiving help.

"It's unusual for patients to take advantage of those providing care," said Finley.

The crime is believed to have been committed in the middle of the night, and officials said the patient stole the television, handed it off to someone else and then went back for treatment.

"My tolerance for all thieves are pretty low," said Sells. "I just can't imagine going to a health care facility for treatment and then leaving the hospital and stealing from the hospital."

Both suspects have been released on bail. Police said they are still in search of a third person they suspect may have received the stolen television.

Email: jkim@newschannel5.com
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