SANTA CRUZ -- An Oakland woman suspected of posing as a doctor and stealing credit cards from staff at Dominican Hospital was nabbed by Fairfield police.
Yolanda Smith, 49, was arrested Monday by Fairfield police officers after she was spotted by a hospital security guard.
Smith is suspected of burglarizing hospitals throughout the region by dressing in a white lab coat and pretending to be a doctor to gain entry into secured areas. Investigators believe she has perpetrated the scam in Daly City, Tracy, Modesto, Gilroy, Walnut Creek, Fairfield and Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputies say Smith walked into the hallway outside the neonatal care unit of Dominican Hospital on Jan. 2 and stole credit cards from the purses of four nurses. The purses were in the staff break room. The nurses noticed the missing cards about two hours later, but by that time, the cards had been used to make more than $4,000 in purchases in Capitola and Live Oak. The cards were used at stores including Target in Capitola and Best Buy on 41st Avenue, deputy April Skalland said.
Smith was seen leaving the stores in a brown, late 1990s Nissan Maxima sedan driven by a black woman, believed to be about 20 years old, with short black hair. Deputies did not have further information on the younger woman Monday.
Santa Cruz County sheriff's investigators have interviewed Smith, who is being held in Fairfield, deputy April Skalland said. She did not know when or if Smith will be extradited to Santa Cruz County as there are a number of jurisdictions investigating her.
Smith will face charges of identity theft, burglary and fraudulent use of a credit card for the Dominican Hospital incident, Skalland said.
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office asks anyone with information to call the investigations division at 831-454-2311 or the anonymous tipline at 831-454-5995.
Follow Sentinel reporter Jessica M. Pasko on Twitter at Twitter.com/jmpasko96