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Burglar Preyed on Patients at 4 Manhattan Hospitals for Years, Police Say

By Shaye Weaver | February 4, 2016 5:13pm
 Juan Arce, 44, was arrested for stealing credit and debit cards from patients over the course of two years, police said.
Juan Arce, 44, was arrested for stealing credit and debit cards from patients over the course of two years, police said.
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UPPER EAST SIDE — An East Harlem man was arrested Monday for stealing credit and debit cards from several patients and a doctor at four hospitals over the course of nearly two years, according to the NYPD.

Juan Arce, 44, swiped bank cards from eight patients and a doctor between May 2014 to February 2016 from Manhattan hospitals including New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NYU Langone Medical Center and Lenox Hill Hospital, according to authorities.

He was arrested on Monday and charged with two counts of burglary and grand larceny, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's office.

Police did not have information about how Arce gained entry to the hospitals or the exact times the incidents occurred, but each victim was able to identify Arce in photographs provided by police, officials said.

His bail was set at $100,000 and he's due back in court on Friday.

Arce is currently being held at Manhattan Detention Complex on White Street, according to city records. 

Arce has more than 10 prior arrests, according to the NYPD, including arrests for burglary and criminal trespass.

His Legal Aid attorney did not immediately return a call for comment.

According to the criminal complaint and police, Arce committed the following acts:

► May 3, 2014: Arce stole a patient's wallet and credit card from a locker at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell on East 70th Street.

► July 30, 2014: He snatched a debit card from a patient's clothing that was left unattended while he was undergoing treatment at Sloan-Kettering at York Avenue.

► Jan. 2, 2015: He entered a patient's room at the NYU Langone Medical Center on First Avenue and took a credit card from the patient's purse.

► Feb. 4, 2015: He stole three credit cards from a patient at Lenox Hill Hospital on East 77th Street.

► April 19, 2015: He stole a TD Bank debit card from a patient's room at NYU Langone Medical Center.

► July 5, 2015: He snatched an American Express card from a patient at Sloan-Kettering.

► Aug. 28, 2015: He stole a United Nations Credit Union card from a patient's room at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell.

► Aug. 31, 2015: He swiped a Macbook computer and Visa credit card from a doctor's locked room.

► Feb. 1, 2016: A security officer at the hospital spotted Arce going into three patient rooms without having permission to be there. As he tried to take him into custody, he broke Arce's finger. Police arrested Arce the same day.

Police posted a picture on Wednesday of the two officers who made the arrest.