A woman who got a ride home from a New Jersey hospital in a private ambulance in December paid more than she was supposed to.
But it wasn’t an honest mistake, police say, as 32-year-old Eric Fernandez stole two checks from the woman while she was in the ambulance. Fernandez, a 32-year-old EMT who worked for a private ambulance company, is accused of taking those checks and forging the victim’s signature before depositing the money into the bank account of 31-year-old Karian Persaud, whom he lived with, according to the Daily Voice.
The victim called local authorities, police told NJ.com, and said “she believed the that the checks were stolen while she was being transported home from the hospital via private ambulance service.” Police haven’t identified the company Fernandez worked for.
A months-long investigation into the theft determined that Fernandez, a resident of Bloomfield, deposited one check into Persaud’s bank account, according to NorthJersey.com. Police allege that Persaud deposited the second check into her account herself.
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It’s not yet known how much money the pair are accused of stealing.
Police arrested both suspects on Wednesday. Fernandez is charged with forgery, theft by deception, uttering a forged document and theft, NorthJersey.com wrote, while Persaud is also charged with theft by deception and uttering a forged document.
Both were released from jail, the Daily Voice reported.
NJ.com reports that Fernandez has been arrested once and convicted twice before. He had charges of retail theft in Palm Beach County, Florida, against him dropped in 2013, the outlet wrote, and in New Jersey was convicted of a burglary charge in May 2016 and given up to three years behind bars.
He also was found guilty of fraudulent use of a credit card in October 2017 and faced up to 18 months in jail, NJ.com reported.