WINTER PARK, Fla. - A dental assistant is facing charges after a patient accused the assistant of stealing from her purse. Letisha Mills was arrested a day after 9 Investigates started digging into the case.
Only 9 Investigates reporter Daralene Jones obtained a copy of the video that sparked Winter Park Police to open a criminal investigation.
Mills was captured on a cell phone camera rummaging through a patient's purse at the office of Dr. Steven Stapp, in Winter Park.
“I felt very violated. She didn't go in my purse once, she went in my purse twice,” the victim told investigative reporter Daralene Jones.
The patient asked Eyewitness News to protect her identity because of her line of work. She said she suspected the dental assistant stole prescription pain pills from her purse during a previous visit.
“The bottle was empty with the top on, three or four pills in the bottom of my purse,” the victim said.
During a follow up visit the victim put her phone in the bottom of her purse and hit record.
“I think she was looking to see if I had anymore medication in my purse. I was shocked,” said the victim.
Winter Park Police opened a criminal investigation after the patient filed a complaint and after 9 Investigates started asking questions.
Days after the incident the patient told us she got a bizarre voicemail from Mills.
“I did open your purse and the reason I did, I had knocked it off because actually the day before I had broke an ice maker bar. It fell off and broke and I heard something crash, and I wasn't sure if it was your glass. And he was saying something about your pills are missing, and I did not take any pills,” said Mills in the voicemail.
Eyewitness News went to the Dr. Stapp's office for answers and learned Mills was arrested hours earlier on Tuesday. Mills has been his dental assistant for 10 years and Dr. Stapp said she wasn’t fired immediately after the patient showed him the video the same day of the incident. Stapp said that’s because Mills just unzipped the purse.
“She went into the purse and I thought she thought a water bottle had burst or something in the purse, she heard a noise and that's what she told me,” Stapp said.
So far, Eyewitness News hasn’t been able to reach Mills. She was arrested for grand theft. The judge set her bond at $1,000 and she has already bonded out of the Orange County Jail. The Florida Department of Health has no complaints on file for Mills or Dr. Stapp.
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