Haines City hospital employee arrested for stealing money from COVID-19 patient’s wallet

Polk County

Haines City Police Department

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Haines City hospital employee is now in jail after police say she stole money from a COVID-19 patient.

According to the Haines City Police Department, 46-year-old Yolanda Curtis-Deliz was arrested Thursday night and charged with grand theft after she was found stealing more than $900 in cash from a COVID-19 patient’s wallet.

Police say Curtis-Deliz works as a certified nursing assistant at AdventHealth Heart of Florida. She was working in an area of the hospital restricted for COVID-19 patients when the victim was admitted on Feb. 19, according to police.

A release from the police department says 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 say when the patient left the bathroom, he noticed the table where his wallet had been placed was turned in a different direction and the drawer opened. 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. After he returned, police say he opened his wallet to find that $920 had been taken.

During the course of the investigation, HCPD said officers learned that Curtis-Deliz had an active
warrant out of Osceola County for dealing in stolen property and providing false information to a pawnbroker.

“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,” Chief Jim 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.”

Detectives are currently investigating similar incidents at AdventHealth Heart of Florida.

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).

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

April 24 2021 08:00 am

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