Greene County

Unusual theft from hospital

Woman accused of taking thousands of dollars worth of equipment

Ultrasound theft

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - Police say a woman sneaked into a local hospital and tried to steal thousands of dollars of important medical equipment. We've learned this is not the first time this woman has been accused of doing this.

She said she was there to check out the ultrasound equipment, but officials say her intentions were much more sinister. "The statement she made was not what she should be here for," says Noah Roark, human resources director at Laughlin Memorial Hospital.

Police say Jenine Ellis followed a staff member through an employee door and then headed for the ultrasound department. Staff members spotted her as she made her way into the department and headed for an exam room.

"Her makeup was heavy and she was dressed in medical attire," said Jesse Taylor the hospital's radiology director.

Once in the room, authorities say Ellis quickly went to work loading her purse with nearly $30,000 in equipment. "She was after the transducers," describes Taylor. "The probes as they are called, but you simply don't unplug them."  

Staff members quickly called supervisors who confronted Ellis.

"A Dr. Weber is the name she gave." says Roark. "We don't have a Dr. Weber."

When her story didn't add up, they called police.

She was arrested and charged with theft, but not without incident. News 5 picked up the police report and learned Ellis is accused of head butting and biting the arresting officer.

Hospital officials say the average person would not know what to take or how to take it apart. News 5 learned Ellis was once a licensed ultrasound technician and owned a medical equipment company in North Carolina.

TV affiliates in Raleigh, North Carolina report that Ellis was arrested for similar crimes in that area two years ago.

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