Warrant: La Mesa doctor gave thief key to medical complex

Posted at 6:02 PM, Dec 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-21 16:30:03-05

UPDATE (Dec. 21, 2016): La Mesa police told 10News reporter Matt Mendes that an arrest was made in this case. Police said the doctor unwittingly gave 35-year-old Damon Lee the keys. Lee had been doing computer work for the doctor, according to police.

Lee was arrested in connection with the break-ins, which police said the doctor was unaware of.

There are no other suspects in this case.

LA MESA, Calif. - A local doctor admitted to giving a thief a key to an East County medical building, potentially compromising patient privacy.

The doctor was seen on surveillance video walking through the front doors of the Grossmont Medical Arts Building with the thief twice, but he denies having anything to do with the burglaries.

"We changed the locks now, but [he] managed to walk in there and break into the office," said Myrna Rodriguez, a receptionist at San Diego Urology Associates in La Mesa. "All of our things were everywhere."

The thief stole laptops worth about $1,000. It's the latest in a string of burglaries inside the six-story building on Center Drive.

"Big-time surprise because he went to different offices as well," said Rodriguez.

Just days before, the thief hit up two other offices, taking cash, medical equipment and ID badges.

"Somebody in the office mentioned that the doctor knew that person," Rodriguez said.

10News is withholding the doctor's name because he's not accused of any wrongdoing.

According to a search warrant, the doctor admitted to police he gave the thief a key but said he did not know about the burglaries to the individual offices and was not involved. He also refused to tell police who the burglar is.

"It's like, come on, who does that, you know?" said Rodriguez. "There are patients. You just don't go out and do that."

Rodriguez said none of their patients' information was compromised. Investigators say the doctor offered to pay for everything that was stolen.

La Mesa police are still looking for the burglar. They won't say if they think the doctor is involved.

10News tried reaching the doctor for comment, but his office staff said he was too busy.