Sad: Woman accused of stealing COVID-fighting materials from hospital complains about lack of COVID-fighting materials in county jail

Remember Jessica Huff? She’s the woman who allegedly stole piles of hand sanitizer, high-grade face masks, gloves, and disinfectant wipes from storage areas and patient rooms at the University of Chicago Hospital last month as the COVID-19 outbreak surged.

Huff was a patient at U of C at the time. Police allegedly found the hoard of precious life-saving materials in her room, ostensibly where she could have access to it while others could not. 

Jessica Huff | CPD

She’s been held in the county jail since then on a burglary charge as well as on an outstanding warrant from DuPage County.

Yesterday, CBS2 aired a sob story piece from Jessica, who took to the airwaves to (wait for it) complain about an alleged lack of face masks, gloves, and other protective equipment in the jail hospital.

Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?

Reporter Brad Edwards called 38-year-old Huff “a woman who likely shouldn’t be” in jail. 

“I fear for my life,” Huff whined in a jailhouse phone call that Edwards recorded.

“I have a heart condition,” she said. And asthma, Edwards adds.

For some reason, Channel 2 didn’t tell viewers that Huff is accused of stealing loads of the exact same protective products that were supposed to be helping healthcare workers and patients stay safe inside a major hospital. Prosecutors say she also stole personal property from patients and nurses at U of C. 

Credit cards, cellphones, and other items that belonged to fellow patients were allegedly found in Huff’s hospital room.

The hammer came down after a 90-year-old woman told hospital workers that Huff had just stolen from her. Of course, elderly people have an especially high risk of dying from COVID-19. Ironic, again.

“I was just in isolation for 24 hours for COVID because my roommate had severe symptoms of it,” Huff whimpered to Edwards. “She’s still in isolation.”

DuPage County quashed its warrant for Huff’s arrest around the time of Edwards’ report and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart “brought her case to the state’s attorney and public defenders’ offices,” Edwards said. 

As of Saturday morning, Huff is not listed as an inmate at Cook County Jail.

There’s no word on where she has gone so soon after allegedly being “in isolation for 24 hours for COVID.” Quarantining for the disease typically runs for fourteen days.

Huff has six felony convictions. She’s also on bond for separate felonies in DuPage, Williamson, and Grundy counties. Those details were also not included in the TV report.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com