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Man Steals From Hospital Roommate Who Was Away For Tests, Prosecutors Say

 Ira Barnett, 43, is charged with identity theft and using someone else's credit card.
Ira Barnett, 43, is charged with identity theft and using someone else's credit card.
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DNAinfo; Cook County Sheriff's Office

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A patient at UIC Medical Center stole from his hospital roommate while the man was away for testing, prosecutors said.

Ira Barnett, 43, was staying at the Near West Side hospital Dec. 27 when his 69-year-old roommate was called away for testing, Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said during a bond hearing.

According to prosecutors, the roommate had left his ID, credit cards and cellphone in a drawer. When he returned from testing, Scaduto said, neither Barnett nor the belongings were anywhere to be found.

An investigation later revealed Barnett spent $475 using the victim's debit card, court records show.

A spokeswoman for the hospital at 1740 W. Taylor St. on Wednesday said: "UIC Health is committed to the health and safety of our community and we take any report of theft at the hospital seriously."

The hospital received a theft report Dec. 27, the spokeswoman said, and worked with local authorities to help make an arrest.

Barnett, of the 900 block of West 63rd Street, is charged with identity theft and using someone else's credit or debit card.

Cook County Judge James Brown said Barnett could be released on his own recognizance pending trial so long as he qualifies for electronic monitoring. If not, Barnett will be responsible for $25,000 bail.