JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - While a nurse treated his relative at the hospital, police say a man took her keys and stole several items from her car.
The 42-year-old victim told Officer Stephen Eaton the theft occurred Sunday night at NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital, 4800 E. Johnson, where she works as a registered nurse.
She said the keys to her Jeep were in the pocket of her jacket, hung on the back of a chair in a common hallway.
When she returned to the area, she found the coat wadded up and her car key missing.
Monday morning, as she left for the day, she discovered someone had entered the vehicle and stolen her wallet and sunglasses.
Security video showed a "dark-complected white male, wearing a multicolored jacket, red T-shirt, red cap, and white shoes" exit the hospital at 9 p.m. Sunday and go to the Jeep and unlock it.
The victim, according to the incident report, recognized the man as a family member of a patient on her floor.
Eaton then spoke with the family who identified him as 27-year-old Aaron Keith Leija of Lepanto.
Eaton and another officer went to Leija's home where they reported finding a pair of RayBan sunglasses on the sidewalk and the case in the grass.
They also reported finding several items with the victim's name on them in the city trash can in front of Leija's apartment.
Police spoke with Leija's brother who said he was out riding his bicycle but gave officers permission to search the apartment for more evidence. He then showed officers a stethoscope box Leija reportedly took from the hospital the night before.
As officers prepared to leave, Leija returned on the bicycle. They arrested him on suspicion of breaking or entering, theft of credit/debit card, and theft of property less than $1,000.
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