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Ring Of Thieves Is Targeting Patients At Upper East Side Hospital, Man Claims

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There was a warning Friday, to hospital patients -- your belongings may not be as secure as you think -- according to one Upper East Side man.

"Their infection rate is very low, but I imagine their theft rate may be something we have to look at," he told CBS2's Tracee Carrasco.

Robbed when he least expected it -- that's what the man -- who didn't want to be identified - claims happened at the Hospital For Special Surgery on East 70th Street.

"In the process of navigating her into car seat, my wife must have put the bag down," he said.

The bag contained his 77-year-old mother-in-law's electronic devices, her wallet, ID, and other personal belongings. It was picked up and stolen in a matter of seconds from the driveway of the hospital where she was being treated. It was a place he thought was secure.

"Who expects this, who focuses on something like that when you're trying to move somebody who just had surgery, into a car. It's what you think about in an airport, where they tell you don't leave your bags alone for a second," he said.

Hospital security recovered the bag on Friday -- empty. More alarming is what security apparently told his wife.

"She spoke with security again and they informed her that yet, there is a ring of thieves that often dress in hospital scrubs," he said.

Now, the family has a warning for patients -- not just at Special Surgery, but at any hospital.

"Do not leave your bags for one second," he said.

A representative of the Hospital For Special Surgery said their security team is conducting a thorough investigating, but is unaware of any pattern of theft.

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