CORONAVIRUS

Arizona Hospital Employee Arrested, Accused Of Stealing Protective Equipment

Apr 5, 2020, 8:08 PM
In this April 4, 2020 photo released by the  Prescott Police in Prescott, Ariz., shows suspect Keit...
In this April 4, 2020 photo released by the Prescott Police in Prescott, Ariz., shows suspect Keith Brown. Prescott police say Brown, a housekeeping employee has been fired from his hospital job after being arrested on suspicion of stealing personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies in recent weeks as the coronavirus outbreak unfolded. Lt. Jon Brambila said 49-year-old Keith Brown of Prescott was arrested Friday, April 3, 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. (Prescott Police via AP)
(Prescott Police via AP)

(CNN) — An employee at an Arizona hospital was arrested after being accused of stealing $1,700 worth of protective equipment and cleaning supplies, police said.

Keith Brown, 49, was arrested and booked into the Yavapai County Jail on one count of felony theft and one count of fraud, the Prescott Police Department said in a statement Saturday.

The arrest comes at a time when health care workers and others on the frontline of the coronavirus epidemic are facing a critical shortage of protective equipment including masks, gloves, cleaning products and toilet paper, which are hard to find across the country.

Brown worked in the housekeeping department of the Yavapai Regional Medical Center West Campus, who contacted police on Friday regarding suspicions that Brown had been stealing supplies.

While being interviewed by police, Brown admitted to stealing gloves, hand sanitizer, surgical scrubs, washcloths, paper towels, masks, bleach cleaner, toilet paper, and an automatic hand sanitizer over the last three weeks, Prescott Police said.

CNN has reached out to Brown for comment.

Brown has been terminated from his job at the Yavapai Regional Medical Center West Campus, police said.

The police department said it is working with the hospital to return the items as soon as they are deemed safe to use.


Coronavirus Resources

See the latest information from the Utah Coronavirus Task Force here.

How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

How To Get Help

If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.

Additional Resources

If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at consumerprotection@utah.gov.


The CNN Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in Sa...
LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer

Pfizer asks FDA to clear updated COVID shot for kids under 5

Pfizer is asking U.S. regulators to authorize its updated COVID-19 vaccine for children under age 5.
1 day ago
FILE: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a news briefing at the Pentagon July 21,...
TARA COPP, Associated Press

Keep COVID military vaccine mandate, defense chief says

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is making clear he wants to keep the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place to protect the health of the troops.
3 days ago
flu shot tripledemic...
Matt Rascon

KSL+: The rise of respiratory viruses and COVID’s impact

It’s not even winter yet, and the CDC is warning that the country is experiencing a resurgence of respiratory viruses, which are taking a toll on hospitals and children.
4 days ago
RSV and flu...
Deidre McPhillips, CNN

Flu season intensifies, holiday gatherings could make it worse

Americans gathered for Thanksgiving last week amid a flu season that's worse than any has been in more than a decade, and experts continue to urge caution as multiple respiratory viruses circulate at high levels nationwide.
8 days ago
Protesters hold up blank papers and chant slogans as they march in protest in Beijing, Sunday, Nov....
Jessie Yeung and CNN's Beijing bureau

Rare protests are spreading across China. Here’s what you need to know

From Shanghai to Beijing, protests have erupted across China in a rare show of dissent against the ruling Communist Party.
8 days ago
Police officers block Shanghai's Urumqi Road on Sunday. (Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images)...
CNN's Beijing bureau and Nectar Gan

Protests erupt across China in unprecedented challenge to Xi Jinping’s zero-Covid policy

Protests erupted across China throughout the weekend, including at universities and in Shanghai where hundreds chanted "Step down, Xi Jinping! Step down, Communist Party!"
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Arizona Hospital Employee Arrested, Accused Of Stealing Protective Equipment