Seattle Police have arrested a woman they say posed as a hospital staffer while apparently trying to steal drugs from machines designed to administer pain medication to patients.
Police say Rachel Nezat has been charged with two counts of property destruction and one count of criminal trespass in the first degree. All counts are gross misdemeanors carrying a maximum penalty of one year in jail and $5,000.
The incident happened April 13 at Swedish Medical Center.
Hospital staff told police that the woman was seen in a patient’s room manipulating the patient-administered pain medication machine, or PCA. The patient questioned the woman, who then left.
Police said that when the real nurse came into the room, she noticed the line from the PCA to the patient had been cut and that pain medication was dripping on the floor. There were also indications that the suspect had tried to pry the PCA open to get access to the medication.
The suspect also allegedly went into another patient’s room, where the patient’s family was present. The family said the suspect acted like she was checking the PCA, but left when the alarm went off. A family member said there was blood dripping on the floor and lines to the patient’s PCA had been cut.
The suspect got away with very little pain medicine. Police were most worried about the breach of hospital security.