Livonia woman charged with stealing 2 syringes with COVID-19 vaccine from TCF Center site
A Livonia woman is charged in connection with stealing two syringes of COVID-19 vaccine from the city of Detroit's mass drive-thru vaccination clinic in the TCF Center garage this week.
Saeedeh Elahi, 41, is charged with one count of larceny in a building, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worth said in a news release.
Elahi was arraigned Wednesday in 36th District Court in Detroit, where a $20,000 personal bond was set, according to online court records. She stood mute and a plea of not guilty was entered by the court. A probable cause conference is set for April 13.
Elahi is accused of putting two syringes filled with the Moderna vaccine and two vaccination cards in her pocket, according to a release from Worthy's office.
Detroit police responded to the third floor of the TCF Center about 1:50 p.m. Monday, Worthy said.
“There is simply no excuse for this alleged conduct," she said. "This past year has been extremely stressful for everyone. There is some light at the end of the tunnel because of the various vaccines. State and local governments have been doing their level best to get vaccines to as many people as possible. This case should send a loud and clear message that this conduct is criminal and will be taken seriously."
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said there is security, police and cameras throughout the clinic site.
"I have no idea what possessed somebody to think they could slip two syringes out of there. But I'm really pleased with the way the other employees and the system responded," he said during a briefing Wednesday.
Elahi's attorney at arraignment, Christopher Brown, had no comment when reached by the Free Press.
According to the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Elahi has a license as a registered nurse that was issued in October 2011 and expires in October 2022. It's an active license, per the records, with the county listed as Wayne County.
Her record also lists a nurse specialty certification as nurse practitioner. That status also is active, with an issue date in February 2016 and an expiration date in October 2022, according to the records.
Hakim Berry, the city's chief operating officer, told the Free Press on Tuesday night that a staff member saw another staffer putting syringes in her pocket early Monday afternoon in the TCF Center garage.
"We're trying to get the entire story of what her intentions were that day," Berry told the Free Press on Tuesday night. He said this is the first known incident like this at the vaccination site, which handles several thousand vaccinations daily.
Berry said the shots were individually drawn vaccines and were "ready to go."
The shots were taken by police and not used. Berry said there were enough shots for everyone who came to the site Monday for appointments.
Contact Christina Hall: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @challreporter.
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