Photo by Alexander Nguyen
Photo by Alexander Nguyen

A former doctor with an extensive criminal history was behind bars Monday on suspicion of stealing surgical equipment worth about $25,000 from an Irvine hospital.

Roy Chiwing Lung, who was being held without bail, allegedly entered Kaiser Permanente’s Orange County-Irvine Medical Center about 4:40 a.m. Sunday wearing scrubs and a wig, said Farrah Emami of the Irvine Police Department. Lung is accused of taking numerous surgical supplies, she added.

A hospital employee spotted the 48-year-old Aliso Viejo resident leaving the building and had him detained by security, Emami said. When he was arrested, police recovered a duffel bag from Lung stuffed with burglary tools, Emami said.

Police recovered more wigs, keys from hospital employees and scrubs in his car, Emami alleged.

Lung pleaded guilty on March 18, 2014, to stealing surgical equipment from Fountain Valley Regional Hospital. He was sentenced to two years in jail.

Lung had his medical license revoked in March 2009, according to state medical board records.

The thefts started May 19, 2013, Fountain Valley police Lt. Ken Hounsley said at the time of the defendant’s arrest in August 2013.

Lung came to the hospital in July 2013 in medical scrubs and a wig, but an employee recognized him as a suspect police were seeking, Hounsley said. The employee notified security guards, who called police.

Lung was arrested then as he was driving away from the hospital.

Police searched Lung’s home and found a stash of stolen surgical equipment, Hounsley said.

In a December 2008 hearing, the medical board sought to have Lung disciplined because of two prior convictions for practicing medicine while his license was suspended and “repeated negligent acts in connection with the care and treatment of two patients,” according to state records.

Lung pleaded no contest Nov. 12, 2004, in Los Angeles Superior Court to grand theft and possession of stolen property, both misdemeanors.

Lung was put on probation for three years, sentenced to time served in jail, four days, ordered to perform 200 hours of community service and to pay $5,494.50 in restitution to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, according to state records.

On June 29, 2004,m, and July 6, 2004, Lung took two computers and a computer bag and possessed another physician’s parking sticker at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, according to state records.

When Lung completed the terms of probation early, his conviction was set aside, according to state records.

Lung has been seen at other hospitals wearing scrubs, according to the state records.

In December 2007, a nurse at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley confronted Lung, who identified himself as Dr. Lin while declining to produce identification and refusing to wait for security, according to state records. The nurse said his “pockets were puffed,” according to the records.

On Jan. 11, 2008, Lung was at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center again wearing scrubs and a fleece jacket with the hospital’s insignia on it, which is not allowed by those not on staff, according to the records.

When an executive confronted him, Lung refused to identify himself and claimed he had a right to be there because he was a physician, according to state records.

The executive kept Lung there until Fountain Valley police arrived. Lung told police he was “resting” in the doctors’ lounge and had privileges at the hospital about 10 years earlier, according to the records.

Lung said he had been going to the hospital about once a week for about 10 years to use the shower and sleep, and had taken hospital supplies, which he later used or sold, according to the records in his disciplinary hearing.

Lung pleaded guilty in September 2010 to resisting a peace officer and obstructing a business, both misdemeanors, and was placed on three years of informal probation, which was set to expire in September 2013, according to court records.

Lung was also accused of continuing to practice at a physical therapy office in Pomona while his license was suspended.

Medical board officials also faulted his emergency room care that led to the deaths of two patients in 2002 and 2003.

Lung earned a bachelor of science degree in bioengineering from UCLA in June 1989, graduated from the University of Texas San Antonio, medical school in May 1993 and completed graduate training at UC Irvine in June 1996.

— City News Service

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