One might call Yolanda Smith a modern-day version of infamous con artist Frank Abagnale. The Oakland woman was arrested this week for allegedly posing as a doctor and stealing credit cards from staff at hospitals throughout the Bay Area.
Smith, 49, was cuffed by Fairfield police officers after a hospital security guard recognized her.
She would allegedly don a white lab coat to pass as a real a doctor. According to Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputies, on Jan. 2 Smith snatched up four different credit cards from nurses in the neonatal care unit at Dominican Hospital.
Once the nurses noticed their wallets were missing cards two hours later, Smith had already made $4,000 in purchases.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Deputy April Skalland told the Chronicle:
“You wouldn’t even know they were gone until you looked for your credit card. She was spending thousands of dollars before anyone could catch up with her.”
Smith was arrested at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, and was wanted in six other Northern California cities including Daly City, Tracy, Modesto, and Walnut Creek for allegedly trying the same scheme. It’s not clear yet which county’s district attorney’s office will be handling the case, but until then Smith is being held in Santa Cruz until all six counties’ investigators can interview her.
One concerning part of this saga is how Smith allegedly managed to easily slip undetected into secure areas of half a dozen hospitals.