Police: Woman posed as nurse to steal pain meds

April 24, 2013 at 4:32 PM

SEATTLE, April 24 (UPI) -- Seattle police said they are searching for a woman accused of posing as a nurse in an apparent attempt to steal pain medication from hospital patients.

The Seattle Police Department said the woman, described as Caucasian in her 30s or 40s, wore clothes resembling a nurse's scrubs when she entered a patient's room at Swedish Medical Center around 10:40 a.m. April 13 and raised the patient's suspicions, The Seattle Times reported Wednesday.

The woman left and the man's real nurse soon arrived and noted the patient's pain-medication line had been cut and the machine had been pried open. The medication was dripping on the floor, police said.

The woman was later spotted on another floor of the hospital, where she told a staff member she was checking the pain-medication machines and soon set off an alarm by handling another patient's machine while family members were visiting.

A nurse told police the woman had stolen some tubing from the machines but likely did not get much of the medication due to the narrowness of the tubes.

Swedish spokesman Ed Boyle said security procedures are being reviewed and officials are looking into why the incidents were not reported to police until April 17.

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