CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte burglary detectives are investigating a claim that a paramedic stole a $20,000 watch from a patient after a recent car crash.
MEDIC confirmed to Eyewitness News that it opened an internal investigation and is cooperating with detectives. The agency said it's too early to tell what happened to the valuable piece of jewelry.
Feroza Syed's mother has been hospitalized for almost two weeks. After two blood transfusions and nine hours of facial reconstructive surgery, Naheed Syed is aware she's missing the most valuable piece of jewelry she owns.
"She knows her watch is missing. She keeps pointing at her wrist and asking where her watch is. It's one of her most prized possessions," Feroza Syed said.
The watch is a limited edition diamond-encrusted Rolex worth about $20,000, according to the Syed family.
Feroza Syed told Eyewitness News two MEDIC supervisors told her paramedics admitted to removing the Rolex after the wreck in Matthews on Dec. 1, but claimed it was returned to the family -- along with several other jewelry items -- at the hospital.
"They keep saying they're doing an internal investigation. I'm not getting any answers back," Feroza Syed said. "I feel stonewalled."
Feroza Syed said her family doesn't need the money, but she believes paramedics took advantage of her mother.
"They're saying the watch was removed, and that he handed it over to my father," Feroza Seyd said. "Then why is the one thing that's missing the watch?"
MEDIC's Deputy Director Jeff Keith told Eyewitness News they're investigating the claim. He pointed out that police, fire, MEDIC, and a tow truck driver all responded to that crash on Weddington Road.
"Every single complaint is taken seriously," Keith said. "We want experts to come in here and continue to look at it, because, at the end of the day, we're here to serve the community. We don't ever want to lose that trust.
"She claims MEDIC told her the watch was returned to the family at the hospital, along with the other items. But the family never got the watch back," pointed out Eyewitness News.
"I hear you," Keith said, "But I need to wait and see what the investigation yields. Right now, that's just hearsay."
CMPD burglary detectives have interviewed the crew. Their investigation is still ongoing.
"We want to make sure this process is as thorough as possible," Keith said.
The Syed family has hired a lawyer, and said they could file a lawsuit next week. The family said they'll go to court to learn to name of the paramedics who treated Naheed Syed, and to see the results of the internal investigation.
"When somebody is supposed to saving your life, they shouldn't be worried about, you know, your jewelry," Feroza Syed said.
MEDIC said their internal investigation could last another week.