AP NEWS

Man walking by police station arrested in computer thefts from Stamford Hospital

March 12, 2019

STAMFORD — A city man was arraigned at the Stamford courthouse Monday on charges that he stole $33,000 worth of brand new computers from Stamford Hospital in February.

Joseph Allende, 23, of Grove Street, was charged Friday with third-degree burglary and first-degree larceny. Judge Bruce Hudock ordered that Allende held in lieu of a $75,000 court appearance bond following his arraignment and that the case be transferred to the Part A docket where the most serious cases are adjudicated.

According to Allende’s nine-page arrest affidavit, police were contacted by Stamford Hospital on Feb. 14, on the report by security officers that 27 Dell laptop computers and 12 Dell Mini Computers had been stolen from where they were being stored at the hospital. The hospital’s security adviser told police the theft happened between Feb. 11 and Valentines Day.

Lt. Tom Scanlon said the computers had not been used and had no patient information stored in them.

Despite being kept in locked metal cages, the doors to the cages can easily be opened to provide access to the computers, a hospital worker told police. Police were also told that access to the storage area was not “extremely difficult” especially if someone had a thin build.

Police were also told that security cameras picked up someone in the basement area leading toward the storage room where the computers were kept at 5 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 11, the affidavit said.

The tall, skinny suspect was wearing a green snorkel-type winter parka with a furry hood pulled over his head and wearing sneakers with a black stripe across the front of the shoe, the affidavit said. An hour later the same man was taped walking out of the hospital area carrying two large dark duffel bags that were “clearly” seen loaded to the point of “bursting at the seams,” the affidavit said.

ON Feb. 21, the very same day the hospital sent out a photo and asked for help identifying the suspect, a man dressed identically to the suspect was spotted walking by police headquarters directly under the window of the property crime investigator working the case.

After seeing the man, the lead investigator on the case, officer William Moore, then called Bureau of Criminal Investigations supervisor Scanlon and the two went out and found the man at the Stamford courthouse. The man identified himself as Allende to police and said he was at the courthouse because of a domestic incident he had with his boyfriend.

Moore told Allende that he looked just like a suspect in a case he was working on, but Allende denied being involved and agreed to allow Moore to take pictures of him standing outside the courthouse and provided his address on Grove Street.

The two returned to the police station and looked at the hospital video tape again and agreed that there was no doubt that the suspect captured on video tape at the hospital was Allende, the affidavit said.

That same night, the officers went to the Grove Street address and while waiting to see Allende, they spotted some of the stolen computers in an open closet as well as the sneakers Allende had been wearing that day.

After confronting him with the evidence, Allende admitted to taking the computers and told officers that a year earlier he worked at the hospital for a couple of months. He said he knew where the computers were located and decided to steal them, the affidavit said.

He said he gave away the computers to friends and he had no way of getting them back and he would not even try to. Police showed the 2 Dell computers, a HP ProDesk Computer, an HP Elite Desk Computer taken from Allende’s residence to hospital security officers, who identified them as belonging to the hospital.

Allende is scheduled to return to court on April 8 where he may make plea to the charges.

jnickerson@stamfordadvocate.com