ELLENVILLE, N.Y. - A paramedic in New York's Hudson Valley region is accused of burglarizing the homes of people he took to the hospital, police said.
German A. Lobation, 48, of Spring Glen, a hamlet 90 miles northwest of New York City, was held in Ulster County Jail in Kingston in lieu of $50,000 bail Wednesday.
He was arrested and charged with a felony count of burglary, four felony counts of possession of stolen property and four misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a weapon for the burglary of a home, state police said.
"He's a predator preying on the health of victims he's supposed to be taking care of," state police Senior Investigator Stanley O'Dell told the Daily Freeman of Kingston.
"He was taking advantage of people at a really tough time. "You're calling 911 for help because of a medical emergency, and the people who are there to help you end up turning around and hurting you."
A police search of Lobation's home uncovered more than $10,000 worth of jewelry, guns and cash believed taken from Lobation's most recent burglary, along with items reported stolen in other thefts, O'Dell said.
Police zeroed in on Lobation, who worked for several emergency medical services squads, after responding to three burglaries in two months in which homeowners reported being robbed while in the hospital for an emergency visit, O'Dell said.
When investigators began looking at the circumstances they realized the "common denominator" of the three robberies was that Lobation responded each time, O'Dell told the Freeman.
Police believe Lobation worked alone in burglarizing the victims' homes, O'Dell said.