BRIDGETON, MO (KPLR) – Bridgeton police are investigating a theft that left 78-year-old Velma Galimore shaken up. Galimore says a woman went into her hospital room at SSM-DePaul Health Center and stole her jewelry and purse. The woman took the jewelry straight from her body while she was lying in her hospital bed.
According to Velma's daughter Marty Dixson the whole thing happened on Sunday morning during a 5 day stay. She says a bi-racial woman with a tie dyed shirt posing as a hospital employee came into the room and said the jewelry had to go because of a medical procedure. Dixson also says the woman smelled like cigarette smoke.
"She did still have her house keys in her purse but all of her information address everything is just gone. Two rings off her fingers that she’s had for many years, antiques a class ring and two bracelets. She slipped them into a hospital glove." said Dixson.
FOX2 spoke to Bridgeton police who say they are working with hospital security to investigate the incident as a theft. But the family says it was a robbery. SSM DePaul Health Center released the following statement:
'Any report of crime on our premises is immediately investigated by our security team in conjunction with local police. As soon as we learned of this matter, we notified the Bridgeton Police. We are currently reviewing security footage and are fully cooperating with authorities. Patient safety and security is always our top priority and we sincerely regret any distress this may have caused the patient. If anyone has any information regarding this matter, please contact Bridgeton Police at 739-7557.'
Detectives are reviewing at surveillance video to hopefully catch the thief who stole Galimore's possessions and peace of mind.
"Its sick deplorable to prey on people in the hospital then such an elderly woman." Dixson said.