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Kaiser ER Nurse arrested in probe of thefts by Andrea Cavanaugh

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ER nurse arrested in probe of thefts
MEDICAL CENTER: She is suspected of stealing jewelry and credit cards from patients, police say.



RIVERSIDE - Police arrested an emergency-room nurse on suspicion of stealing jewelry, credit cards and driver licenses from patients at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Riverside, authorities said. 

Gemma Yuman, 35, a licensed vocational nurse, was arrested July 11 at her home in San Bernardino, Riverside police Sgt. Leon Phillips said. 

Investigators believe Yuman stole jewelry, credit cards or IDs from at least eight patients, one of whom had died, Phillips said. 

Yuman pleaded not guilty to three counts of felony identity theft and two counts of petty theft at her arraignment July 15. She was released July 19 on $5,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set for Monday. 

Yuman could not be reached for comment. Her attorney, Deputy Public Defender Judith Gweon, declined to discuss the case. 

Family members of a woman who died in the emergency room complained to hospital officials that the woman's jewelry had been stolen, Kaiser Permanente spokesman James Gilkerson said in a telephone interview. 

"We did an internal investigation and gathered facts that we turned over to the Riverside Police Department," Gilkerson said. 

Gilkerson declined to comment further or to discuss Yuman's employment with Kaiser Permanente, citing confidentiality rules. 

If convicted on all counts, Yuman faces five years, eight months in prison, Deputy District Attorney Rich Bentley said. 

The alleged thefts took place between May 13 and July 11, Bentley said in a telephone interview. 

Police found several patients' driver licenses inside Yuman's home when she was arrested, Phillips said. 

The family of the dead woman alleged that jewelry worth about $20,000 was stolen after her death, he said. 

Police were investigating whether the jewelry disappeared as it was being taken to the hospital's safe or was taken from the patient, Phillips said. 

"The family believes she removed items from the body itself," he said. 

Yuman has been licensed as a vocational nurse since 1991, according to state records. 

A felony conviction would prompt a review of Yuman's license, but would not necessarily result in its revocation, said Laura Silver, an enforcement analyst with the state agency that regulates vocational nurses. 

Reach Andrea Cavanaugh at (909) 368-9463 or

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