PASADENA, Texas -- A family in Pasadena has learned the hard way that nothing is off limits in the eyes of a criminal.
That harsh lesson came last Thursday at Bayshore Medical Center.
Ofelia Houle, 89, was undergoing surgery for blood clots. All of Houle’s important belongings were being kept inside her daughter’s truck, parked in the hospital’s visitor lot.
A thief smashed the back window of that truck and cleaned out everything inside, including Houle’s dentures.
“We didn’t know what to tell my mother,” said daughter Alice Pancamo. “Now she has nothing to eat. She can’t even eat. She has no teeth.”
The dentures were inside a suitcase that was being kept on Pancamo’s back seat.
“They don’t care if they can get 5 bucks. They will probably break your window,” explained Pancamo. “They’re just going to throw them away. That’s the sad thing. They’re worthless.”
However, the dentures are not worthless to Houle. In fact, her daughter says they cost about $10,000.
“She kept asking for her dentures,” said Pancamo.
The theft only adds to a difficult hospital stay for Houle. She’s been told by doctors that one of her feet might have to be amputated.
“On top of her having to deal with being sick, it’s horrible somebody could do this,” added Pancamo.
Pancamo says she was told by a security officer that car break-ins have been happening frequently in the hospital’s parking lot since November.
Unfortunately, the hospital says it’s surveillance cameras did not capture anything that could help police in this case.
A Bayshore Medical Center spokesperson sent KHOU the following statement.
“Bayshore Medical Center has increased coverage by off-duty officers in the parking lots to address any potential break-ins. Unfortunately, as with many businesses, our low-crime campus has seen an increase in vehicle break ins this holiday season. Additionally, the hospital is working with the Pasadena
Police Department to continue to routinely patrol the hospital campus and share any surveillance footage that is available. Surveillance cameras are installed on the exterior of the hospital. Unfortunately, this specific incident was not caught on camera. Bayshore Medical Center always encourages our visitors and employees to keep all valuables out of sight to prevent these types of incidents.”