Police: Paramedic admits stealing rare Rolex from wrist of dying patient, selling it
PHOENIX, Arizona (KTVK) -- An Arizona ambulance paramedic is accused of stealing a valuable watch from a patient.
The heirloom watch is a 1969 Rolex Submariner valued at $10,000.
According to a report from the Mesa Police Dept., Jason Alexander admitted to stealing the watch when investigators asked him about it.
Alexander was a paramedic on a Rural Metro ambulance that transported an elderly man to Banner Baywood Hospital in Mesa on Sept. 21.
The patient died on Oct. 8. His son inherited the watch and when he couldn't find it he contacted Rural Metro and the Mesa Police Dept.
The son was told his father's watch was removed from his wrist by a paramedic while he was in the ambulance and it was placed in and unsecured position between his legs.
The watch was not with the patient when he was admitted to the hospital.
The deceased man's son was researching the watch on the Internet and when he did a Google search of the serial number it showed up for sale on eBay.
Police learned the eBay user who listed the watch for sale was Alexander.
During the investigation Alexander told police, "I made a mistake." He also told police he was living with his parents in San Tan Valley and he owed them money.
He told police he thought it was "stupid" to sell the watch on eBay so he decided to sell it to a friend in Oregon for $1,400. The person who bought the watch told police he did not know it was stolen.
Rural Metro said Alexander has been with the company for less than one year. The company did do a background check on Alexander when he was hired.
He is now on unpaid leave from the company.
In a written statement Rural Metro's John Karolzak, Vice President of Operations, Arizona, said: "It's certainly unfortunate. We have to strive hard for community trust and if there's a bad apple in there we have to get it out of there."
Alexander faces charges of theft and trafficking stolen property.