STOCKTON (CBS13) – A Stockton man claims he was robbed of his cherished gold medallion – in his hospital bed.

Herman Flores may be recovering from heart surgery, but his daughter says he now has a broken heart after the gold medallion he’s owned for 30 years was possibly stolen.

“His chain was still on but his medallion was gone,” Victoria Alvarado said.

Alvarado says the theft happened at a place she thought her father’s belonging would be safe.

“You don’t have to be out in the streets to get robbed,” she said.

The family claims Herman’s medallion featuring a depiction of Jesus on the front and Mother Mary on the back was taken while he lay in his hospital bed.

“It meant a lot to him,” she said. “He said he wanted Christ next to his heart.”

Herman even wore the 14-karat medallion on the operating table. But his daughter believes it may have been taken one night while Herman was recovering.

“Everything going on in Stockton. All these people getting chains yanked off their necks and everything,” she said.

Similar to the rise in violent crimes, Stockton police are seeing a spike in gold chain robberies – a total of 215 reported since March. But Dameron Hospital officials say this is the first such theft inside their walls.

“These types of events don’t happen,” Creighton Younnel said.

Why? Because they ask patients to hand over their valuables for safe-keeping. But Herman refused, wanting to keep his religious medallion close.

The hospital is investigating.

“It entails going through like a needle in a haystack, doing our own due diligence in finding what indeed happened to it,” Younnel said.


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