TMH clinic target of break-ins
Police: None of 4 attempts successful
March 18, 2010
Craig — The Memorial Hospital Medical Clinic has been the target of several attempted break-ins the past six weeks.
Four apparently unsuccessful break-in attempts have been made at the TMH Clinic, 785 Russell St., the former site of The Memorial Hospital, Craig Police Department Sgt. John Forgay said.
"We have been looking into these incidents as they are reported and have given the clinic several guidelines to heighten their security for the building," Forgay said. "In these cases, it did not appear that entry was made into the complex."
The building housed TMH for 60 years. When TMH moved to its new facility in November, the old campus was transformed into a home for TMH Medical Clinic, orthopedic surgeons, urology and obstetrics.
TMH clinic moved from its old location at 651 Yampa Ave. in December.
Shandy Deakins, clinical practice manager at the clinic, said she and the health care providers in the building are concerned for the security of medical equipment and electronics.
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In each incident, minor damage was found only outside of the building.
"They have pried open a window in the back and bent up a screen," Deakins said. "They have tried to break in through the front sliding glass door. Then, they took a crowbar and tried to pry open a metal door. Tuesday, we found they pried open a window into a provider's office. I don't know if they think there are drugs in there or what."
Forgay said law enforcement officials think narcotics could be a motive for the attempted break-ins, though there are none being housed in the building.
He also said there is the possibility someone might have tried to break in to find a warm place to sleep, thinking the building was vacant.
"In any event, the cases are under investigation at this point," he said.
Deakins said whomever the perpetrators are, they may not know that there are often people in the building after hours.
"Whoever is breaking in, I don't think they know layout of the building and where we are and where we're not," she said.
She said law enforcement occasionally trains in the building and there is usually someone around at all hours of the day.
Samantha Johnston, TMH chief of organizational excellence, said there are internal security systems in place.
She and other hospital administrators met Tuesday to discuss additional security measures including possible surveillance.
Currently, there are double locks on the doors, and confidential patient information is kept locked up and safe, Deakins said.
Still, she is concerned that expensive or unique medical equipment could be in jeopardy if someone manages to break in.
"As many times as they've attempted, if they keep trying, my fear is ultimately they're going to get in," Deakins said. "We do have patient information, but it's always locked up. My concern is we have a lot of equipment here between ultrasounds and a lot of computers and electronics. Some of it's not even replaceable.
"I can only imagine what they might do."