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Polk Hospital Employee Charged With Stealing From Covid-19 Patient

A hospital employee was arrested on Thursday night after stealing more than $900 in cash from a COVID-19 patient’s wallet.

Yolanda Curtis-Deliz, 46, is charged with grand theft. Curtis-Deliz works as a certified nursing assistant at AdventHealth Heart of Florida.

Curtis-Deliz was working in an area of the hospital restricted for COVID-19 patients when the victim was admitted on Feb. 19. 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.

When the patient exited 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, he opened his wallet to find that $920 had been taken. 

Curtis-Deliz was working in the COVID-19 ward of the hospital. During the course of the investigation, it was learned that Curtis-Deliz had an active warrant out of Osceola County for dealing in stolen property and providing false information to a pawn broker. 

“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). 

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Staff Reporter

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