A 29-year-old Clinton man allegedly walked into a secure area at Sampson Regional Medical Center over the weekend and calmly left with a handful of items, including syringes.
That man, Kenneth Harold Payne, 29, of 710 W. Main St., Clinton, is now facing a $45,000 secured bond.
According to reports from the Clinton Police Department, Payne allegedly walked through one secured area at SRMC around 11:07 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, and walked out with syringes, prescription pads, excuse slip pads, appointment cards and medical wrist bands.
Detectives would not confirm or deny the incident took place in the emergency room of the hospital, saying that it was only “a secured area.”
Within minutes, police had discovered Payne still cradling the items in his hands when he was arrested. All the items were returned to the hospital’s staff.
David Masterson, CEO of Sampson Regional Medical Center, said security at the hospital is something the hospital takes very seriously.
“We have processes in place to protect the security of our patients, staff, and organization as a whole,” he said. “Thanks to observant surgical nurses and a quick response from our security force, an intruder was apprehended in a restricted area of the hospital. It was obvious that this intruder did not belong in the area where he was apprehended; therefore, the hospital is pressing charges to the fullest extent of the law. Sampson Regional Medical Center takes very seriously the safety and security of its patients and workforce.”
Masterson added that he was thankful his staff jumped into action when they noticed Payne acting suspiciously Saturday afternoon.
“We are thankful for the attentive staff who quickly reported the observed suspicious activity and for our security personnel who responded,” he said. “In addition, we appreciate the support and protection provided by our local law enforcement.”
Payne was taken to the Sampson County Detention Center and charged with first degree trespassing. He was given a $10,000 secured bond and a trial date of Nov. 6.
An hour later, after his initial arrest, eyewitnesses reported what they saw to the Magistrate and Payne was given the additional charge of larceny. Payne was given a $35,000 bond for tthat charge and a trial date of Nov. 6.
No injuries were reported in the incident.
Investigators at the Clinton Police Department said they were not given a reason behind the larceny.
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