PORTAGE (WKOW) — Police are seeking help from the public in identifying and locating a man they say is a person of interest in thefts from health care facilities throughout the state, including right here in Eau Claire.
Thefts have been reported this week at health care facilities in Eau Claire, Portage, Wausau, La Crosse, Menomonie, Baldwin, Osseo and Red Wing, Minnesota.
It appears the thief is traveling the Interstate system to target health care facilities in communities near those roadways.
On Thursday, staff members at Divine Savior Healthcare in Portage told investigators that they became suspicious when the man was found wandering around the hospital in an area off limits to visitors.
They say he told them he got turned around, and they directed him out, according to Lt. Dan Carrigan, a detective with the Portage Police Department.
However the man was found again a short time later near a restricted area and was escorted out of the hospital.
Only later, an employee noticed her handbag was gone, Carrigan said.
Carrigan then learned of other departments in the state sharing similar sightings.
Carrigan said the suspect was seen in La Crosse on Aug. 16, Red Wing,. Minnesota on Aug. 19, Baldwin on Aug. 20 and Menomonie, Osseo and Wausau on Aug. 21.
Eau Claire police tell News 18 they are coordinating with multiple law enforcement agencies trying to identify the man. They say an alert is being prepared to go out to hospitals in the state.
ECPD also tells News 18 they welcome any assistance from the public finding the man.