Stop #@$%!* Thief!!! - page 3

This is one of the big headaches they never tell you about when you become a manager in a healthcare facility--what to do when residents' money and valuables go missing, and you come to the... Read More

  1. by   EmerNurse
    It's a sad thing indeed, especially when you're sure it's a co-worker helping themselves. I lost a very expensive 2007 drug book right off the nurses' station counter and I can can't tell you how many nurses have had good stethoscopes walk off. <sigh> WHY? Good grief just buy your own or in the case of a book, ASK to borrow it. I have a huge library at home, but only loan out carefully just because of this. It's sad when you can't trust the folks you work with ;(

    PS: This was in my old job btw - not had any problem at my current hospital, but I'm more careful now too.
  2. by   VivaLasViejas
    Thank you, all. It feels good to be able to vent, especially since my boss, the facility administrator, is dragging his feet on getting the police involved. He was supposed to call them two days ago; it still hasn't happened. Yes, things have been busy; yes, I know he doesn't want the publicity. But dang, we have to protect these folks somehow, and at this point I think that failing to call the police makes it look like we're just shoving it under the rug........or that we have something to hide.

    I'm so exasperated right now I could scream! But I'm going to keep nagging, and if he STILL doesn't do it, I'm going to go over his head and talk to the VP of operations. I don't really want to do this, because we get along great and I have no desire to make him look bad. But this sort of thing violates every sense of right and wrong I possess---it simply HAS to stop, and the offender must be fired and punished. I'm usually pretty tolerant of human frailty, but stealing from vulnerable elderly people isn't a 'mistake', and negative publicity be damned.:angryfire
  3. by   goingnuts
    I'm so exasperated right now I could scream! But I'm going to keep nagging, and if he STILL doesn't do it, I'm going to go over his head and talk to the VP of operations. I don't really want to do this, because we get along great and I have no desire to make him look bad. But this sort of thing violates every sense of right and wrong I possess---it simply HAS to stop, and the offender must be fired and punished. I'm usually pretty tolerant of human frailty, but stealing from vulnerable elderly people isn't a 'mistake', and negative publicity be damned.:angryfire[/quote] I try to be tolerant of most human frailities by saying sometimes good people do bad things. And if they were stealing from a huge conglomerate I could sleep at nite without any of it ever crossing my mind. But to steal from people who have lost so much already just breaks my heart. It just tells me they have no conscience and will take advantage of any oppertunity no matter who it involves. I have a few ideas. Have you thought of having someone work there for the soul purpose of catching this person. Are you able to at least eliminate some of your employees? That way you could maybe set a trap. Like deliberately leaving money that would just be to tempting not to take. And then you could have a surprise search. You have a right to search your employees anytime you feel you need to. We have to sign something in every place I have worked at saying we realize this could happen. There is no reason why anyone should have a problem with this since why would you bring anything into the work place that could get you into trouble. It is just not necessary so only if you are doing something wrong would someone scream invasion of privacy and all of that junk. Did you know you can even buy fake money? That is what i would do. If no one picks it up then you just start all over. And if someone does take it and you can't find the money well that is just going to be their problem when and if they try to spend it. If you are careful and don't tell anyone other than whoever you have hired to watch for the culprit I just bet this might work. What have you got to lose? It might take time but you will be able to eliminate some and focus on others. Also have you thought of requesting that possible suspects take a lie detector test. Of course they don't have to comply but so what. This is another way to narrow suspects down. You can say that the only thing the person giving the test is going to question about is the theft going on. Nothing else so none of this whinning about privacy should be an issue. You simply have to fight dirty sometimes when it comes to this sort of thing. The secrect is keeping your mouth shut. I would act as if it is no longer a concern and go on to other things. That way the person will not be nervous about being caught. That is exactly what you want. Trust me whoever is doing this is no genuis or they would be stealing money where the profits were better. I sure hope I have helped.
  4. by   Cree8ive1
    MJL -- I sure admire your persistence and your dedication to getting to the bottom of this. Administration and negative publicity be damned, indeed! You go, girl! Your patients are lucky to have you. Best of luck in finding the culprit(s)!
  5. by   LEVODEVO
    I bet u it's drugs.no matter what the emplyee's salary is,,as we know our druggie friends usually start picking up more hours..always volunteer for ot...take patients in the back of the unit etc...we've had 3 incidents in the last 3 years..all stopped when the perps were gone...one was a traveling resp. therapist...we used to (although illegally)leave the remaining mso4 in the alcove next to the pt's bed..with trauma pts they woke up wild and hairy and we felt we didn;t have time to run to the med room...anyway....at nite some of the nurses started saying that thier stash was missing..and we chalked it up to bad memory or that we used it and forgot it(we don;t do this anymore,,hospital cracked down,which makes sense)one of the nurses had suspicions about this new traveler,she looked haggard...but underneath quite attractive,so surprised her hair was dirty,same ribbon...same uniform..in the bathroom a lot...etc...so he filleda 10 cc syringe with sterile h2o and marked it mso4 10 mg(yeah i know also illegal)sure enuf it disappeared...10 minutes later the perp comes out of the staff ladies room,looking like hell,wild eyed and shaking...both shoes on but only one stocking...the other stocking found on th floor on the bathroom...the nursing super was called and then the police...sure enuf she had a record a mile long which takes 1-2 months to catch up with you...the nurse who planted the trap was talked to at length and given a warning.......sure enuf...money and lunches and cellphones stopped disappearing as soon as she was gone...

    another time we had a new nurse,used to be a traveler and our place was her first permanent job...thanks to our cycnical Irish heritage we all put our radar up...sure enuf money and stuff started disappearing....she was constantly looking for extra work..which she explained was due to her low starting wage(believeable)(sic)...so thrilled with the last illegal trap job,another was set up....someone brought in a cheap black vinyl pocket book...put stuff in it to make it looked like it had an owner...took a standup ziplock bag and filled it with high strenght but diluted methylene blue...any rummaging thru the bag would certainly tip over the liquid and sure enuf our buddy got caught blue handed...she came out of the break room wearing some one else's sweater(to covers her arms) and dark colored surgical gloves,saying she wasn;t feeling well and needed to go home...being big busted and overweight..she missed the blue dye all over her lower legs and shoes...but we didn;t...I hear she's been in and out of rehab for 4 years now...she was also pregnant at the time of the arrest...
  6. by   HisTreasure
    It's a sad, sad thing. I started nursing thinking that everyone was honest and above board. The vast majorityof people are, but those that aren't...
    At one of my previous jobs I used to leave my purse, coat, etc. in the charting room. My purse was stolen. THE WHOLE THING! THEN...not even an hour later some items were charged to my check card! I called to report my card stolen and was told, "Well, Kiyasmom, we're showing activity on that card 16 minutes ago!" It burned my hide, and I felt so violated. For a long time afterwards I felt...naked. Feared identity theft, and I stopped trusting the people I worked with. That's a terrible feeling as well. When my purse went missing the entire hospital knew within days. People came out of the woodwork to tell me about so-and-so who had their purse stolen, wallet stolen, coat stolen, CAR stolen...all by fellow nurses and/or aids. I was, and still am, disgusted. It is deplorable that we, persons in a trusted position of integrity, can stoop so low as to violate a person's right to property. Whether the excuse is substance abuse, illness (kleptomania), or "high bills", the bottom line is that it is UNACCEPTABLE. To steal from co-workers is bad; to steal from residents is irreprehensible. Ugh, I'm so disgusted! Marla, I hope you guys find the culprit and prosecute. Make that scumbag an example.
  7. by   banditrn
    At the LTCF where I work, we have an alzheimers res. who hoards other res. belongings - they found a whole drawer full of dentures in her room.
  8. by   jetscreamer101
    I remember having this problem several years ago in our LTC. I wasn't in management at the time, but I do remember they got the police involved to figure out who it was. Ended up being a housekeeper. Just this year, I had money stolen from my purse at work in my locker. I was in a hurry and forgot to shut the door I guess. Only lost about 15.00 but I was still mad, mostly at myself-shoulda closed the door, and at the thief-Even if it was open, nobody shoulda touched it. The rest of my stuff was there, my littman, credit cards, etc.
  9. by   Ginger35
    If it gets this far - I have a good idea for a "sting" operation.
    When I was in college living in the dorms, we had an unknown bandit stealing money from their dorm rooms. We kind of had an idea who may have been doing it. So we set aside some money. The bills were counted, the denominations written down, with their serial numbers.

    Then, when the bait was left out in a frequently visited dorm with the bills laying out on a table. The "bait" was checked on frequently until gone.

    Then, one of the students asked the suspect later that day for change for say $20.00.....The bills that were exchanged matched the serial numbers of the bait - talk about busted!!!

    Just an idea.

    Ginger
  10. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from Ginger35
    If it gets this far - I have a good idea for a "sting" operation.
    When I was in college living in the dorms, we had an unknown bandit stealing money from their dorm rooms. We kind of had an idea who may have been doing it. So we set aside some money. The bills were counted, the denominations written down, with their serial numbers.

    Then, when the bait was left out in a frequently visited dorm with the bills laying out on a table. The "bait" was checked on frequently until gone.

    Then, one of the students asked the suspect later that day for change for say $20.00.....The bills that were exchanged matched the serial numbers of the bait - talk about busted!!!

    Just an idea.

    Ginger
    Interesting..........!

    Talk about irony........my boss and I were looking through a Home Depot catalog yesterday afternoon that came in the facility's mail, and what should we see but FAKE security cameras for $17.99 apiece.

    I looooooove Home Depot!
  11. by   firstyearstudent
    If management can't be convinced to call the police, perhaps someone should suggest to one of the more lucid residents that he or she call...
  12. by   destiny5
    Quote from TazziRN
    A former coworker had several hundred dollars stolen from her purse while it was under the desk in the old hospital. The nurses' desk was out in the hallway, shared with the x-ray people. An ambulance brought a pt in and when the crew was gone my friend realized money was missing. There was a video camera trained on the area and the paramedic was caught on film going through her purse. Nothing was done. The medic lost his job but was not made to pay the money back, and his excuse was that because he was going to PA school and had a lot of bills, he just "lost his mind". He finished school and is now working as a PA. No repercussions. My friend was talked out of pressing charges by the nurse manager at the time.
    Before I let anyone talk me out of pressing charges--they'd better be replacing my money!!!!!!! :angryfire :angryfire
  13. by   destiny5
    It really saddens me that this has happened. It fosters a climate of mistrust among staff and between staff and residents. I pray that the situation is resolved sooon. Sometimes the thief ends up being the last person you'd ever suspect so pleez have proooof before anyone is accused or fired.---Also, to throw people off their trail, the guilty can plant evidence on the innocent...maybe I watch too much CSI

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