Paramedic Steals Credit Cards From Patient, Goes On Shopping Spree At Target

A Cleveland paramedic was arrested last week after being caught on video using credit cards she had stolen from an 87-year-old patient, according to The Plain Dealer. Tiffany Forte, age 32, has been working for the Cleveland Emergency Medical Services for the last seven years. A police statement says she was seen on video surveillance at Target and Marshalls racking up $1000 worth of charges while wearing her EMS t-shirt. Details, inside…

The article says,

On order of Director of Public Safety Martin Flask, Forte was suspended without pay Friday while the case is resolved. She was arrested Friday afternoon following a three-week investigation by Euclid detectives with help from Cleveland police. Investigators searched her home Friday.

“It is unconscionable for a sworn civil servant to violate the trust of the community,” said EMS Commissioner Edward Eckart.”We will continue to take every measure necessary to ensure the integrity of the Division of EMS. However, today’s arrest does not reflect on the dedicated and loyal service that the men and women of the Division of EMS provide everyday to the citizens of the city of Cleveland.”

Whenever we’ve seen ambulances pull into parking lots with lights and sirens, we assumed it was because there was a medical emergency, and not because Target was closing in 5 minutes.

Cleveland paramedic caught using credit cards stolen from patient
[The Plain Dealer] (Thanks to Ryan!)
(Photo: rchris173)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Tyr_Anasazi says:

    Ahhh, I miss my hometown….;>

  2. synimatik says:

    If this chick has been working there for 7 years, there’s no way in frozen hell that this is the 1st time she’s done this.

    As an aside, ALL of this could have been cut off at the pass if the cashier would have done his/her job and actually checked the signature and/or driver’s license.

  3. Idiot. Let me spend on the credit card of someone I have had direct contact with in a store littered with cameras while wearing a shirt that identifies me. At least use a proxy. Or go to a different town to use the card. Or at least wear a disguise.

  4. rpm773 says:

    Target? That’s a hell of a shopping spree.

    What did she buy, Mop and Glo?

  5. EdnaLegume says:

    You mean she had free run of someone elses credit card, and she headed to Target? Clearly this means Target is not only notoriously bad for checking ID here, but there too.

    I realize they aren’t technically supposed to check, but if my credit cards were ever stolen, I really hope the thief doesn’t go to Target before I get a chance to call the creditors.

    “but mrs. so and so… it’s a charge at Target, you ALWAYS charge at Target, we’re not buying your story that someone ‘stole’ your cards”

  6. BoomerFive says:

    @Git Em SteveDave wants a Lego build buddy: Exactly. The level of idiocy here is astounding. How do think you won’t get caught? I sincerely hope she gets the book thrown at her.

  7. highmodulus says:

    Should be some sort of prison dunce cap for that one.

  8. Oxzimmaron says:

    Click on the story from the Plain Dealer and scroll down to the comments for some backstory. Makes a person really appreciate the folks on this forum!

  9. eliot99 says:

    Paramedic? How about a coroner stealing gift cards from a dead body.

  10. Pro-Pain says:

    What a stupid bitch.

  11. @eliot99: Our gift cards never expire, even if you do!

  12. Joedragon says:

    Mr Burns back in 1995 / 1996 said this

    Burns: Stricken, I lurched forth in search of aid, but finding only
    slack-jawed gawkers, I gave up and collapsed on the sundial.
    Lisa: Then, with your last ounce of strength, you pointed to W and S…
    or, from your point of view, M and S.
    Burns: What? No! With my last ounce of strength, I sucked out my gold
    fillings and swallowed them. Those paramedics have sticky

  13. MayorBee says:

    @eliot99: Who gives gift cards to a dead woman? Did she need them to give to Charon to get her over the river Styx? Did they give her gift cards because they could more easily be replaced than cash? There are so many unanswered questions here!

    Oh, upon reading the article you linked, it appears that she was given the cards before she died. I guess that makes more sense, then. :)

  14. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    They should lock her up with that dude who tried to forge a $3B? check.

    Either way, this is obviously the victim’s fault. Why would she have her credit cards on her in a medical emergency. I bet she was planning on charging her medical expenses, not fiscally sound at all. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

  15. SexierThanJesus says:

    *waits in anticipation for someone to blame the old woman*

  16. mike says:

    @Git Em SteveDave wants a Lego build buddy: The problem is that most credit cards get cancelled within a day if someone notices that their wallet is gone. Usually time is of the essense.

  17. Mike8813 says:

    @Joedragon: If only we all could be as wise as Mr. Burns.

  18. spatch2008 says:

    It really is sad that you cannot be sure you are safe anywhere…even when incapacitated you have to be worried about identity theft!

  19. Imaginary_Friend says:

    The ironic part is, if the paramedic would’ve went to a more upscale store, she probably would’ve gotten away with it. Target’s insistence on checking a customer’s ID when using a credit card actually did some good here.

  20. Soldier_CLE says that Hideo Kojima has to make MGS till the day he dies! says:

    Heh… It’s funny, seeing a Sheriff’s cruiser in front of this picture…

    I have yet to see a Cuyahoga County (Cleveland, Ohio AREA) Sheriff’s Cruiser do anything around the area, aside from the “food-run” at the local KFC, or going to Sheriff Gerald T. McFaul’s “Clam Bake Charities” (READ: Coffer Contributions)

    For that matter, I have yet to actually see the Sheriff around!

    Sorry… I’m getting pretty off-topic here.

    Here’s where it gets back on-topic:

    It’s a shame that we have a local government that is full of unqualified people, patronage, and a series of officials elected in, because of an unaware, and fairly ignorant majority of Clevelanders who vote for the familiar names, and not on the qualifications.

    In other words: If you think this is bad, wait till the Plain Dealer unearths more stuff like this! Like Firefighter Union Presidents and strip clubs scandals, more bilking of citizen’s wallets/properties, and of course the deals that have put Cleveland under a “fire sale”, for instance.

  21. bombaxstar says:

    That is fucking awful.

  22. ChootinDaChit says:

    This is completely crazy. She’d been working that job for seven years. What would make her suddenly do something like that one day out of the blue? If she’d been doing it in the past, wouldn’t someone else have noticed and put the pieces together (e.g. “Hey, we just got another call about a patient’s wallet disappearing, just like the last 20 people transported by this particular EMT”).

  23. Speak says:

    What a way to sabotage a job you’ve worked at for seven years. I wonder if a search of her property will turn up goods stolen from other patients.

  24. drewapicture says:


    That’s like a situation I had at work a few months ago. I work in the ‘green’ industry and a not-necessarily-legal-immigrant co-worker took my check from the stack and took it to one of those check-cashing places. He signed it, and they cashed it without any ID or anything. Needless to say, my co-worker was pretty surprised at the amount of the check when he got that wad of cash. If the purchases are over a certain limit, I think it is prudent to maybe require ID, I just know I’m going to get slammed by the privacy nuts for saying that though.

  25. eelmonger says:

    I don’t get why this is on The Consumerist. This is just some dumb criminal, there’s no lesson to be learned here. There’s nothing the patient could have done, and if Target had tried to check ID, as most people here vehemently point out, they would have been in violation of the merchant agreement.

  26. Bush2008 says:

    @EdnaLegume: Nah, if someone asked anyone who reads the Consumerist to see their ID when using a credit card, they’d simply bust out the printed Terms of Service from the credit card’s website, then STORM off and post on Consumerist about how their civil rights were violated and how America is becoming a place with no rights for consumers. God forbid it actually be helpful to you!

    One time a guy was spending $2,000 at my job, and I asked to see his ID. He flipped out, saying “we don’t do THAT in the north. No one will EVER check my ID up home!!”. haha

    Another time I asked a black man for his ID, and he then accused me of racism in a sly way, and asked if I only ask black people for their ID. Ah, the joys of the world.

  27. jackal676 says:

    I think it would be scary easy to use a stolen credit card at Target. I don’t think I’ve ever had to show anyone my card there, let alone ID, because they have those little scanner things where you insert the card yourself, sign, and then put the card right back into your pocket.

  28. mariospants says:

    Paramedic Tiffany Forte in the back of the ambulance: “Mrs. Danforth, you may be dying, is there anything you’d like me to get for you?”

    Mrs. Danforth: “Yes, dear. Please take my credit card and go to Target. I want you to get me two packs of smokes, a PS3 with a copy of Devil May Cry 4, Britney Spears’ latest CD, a box of Ho-Hos, 3 bags of kitty litter, a bag of popcorn and a Cherry Slushie. Oh, and while you’re at it, feel free to buy yourself something, too.”

    Works for me.

  29. Breach says:

    Ah, the very definition of DUMBASS

  30. lauy says:

    A surprising number of check card fraud cases in which cards are lost or stolen can be traced back to theft while the victim was in a hospital. Sometimes the fraud is committed by a family member, sometimes by hospital or EMT staff. Nothing like getting out of the hospital then having to deal with fraud…sad comment on society today.

  31. bwcbwc says:

    @Oxzimmaron: Yes, the comments on the Plain-Dealer story are…classic…is the only word I can think of. The number of friends the alleged thief has posting character references and trying to justify her actions make me wonder if this wasn’t part of an organized ring within Cleveland EMS.
    On the other hand, it could just be that EMS is one of the few legitimate roads out of poverty in that area, but it doesn’t really pay enough to get out of the ghetto. “Tiffany” is definitely not the only EMS person in Cleveland who is feeling put-upon.

    Consumerist angle: Don’t get seriously sick or injured in Cleveland unless you have a friend in EMS. The posts on the newspaper website sound like a race war (or at least a class war) is brewing.