Authorities say Grisel Ramirez was trying to pass off a fake pregnancy. The 48-year-old mother of three was going through a divorce.
According to police, Ramirez told her husband she was expecting the couple's first child together, saying it was a girl. The husband was unaware that his wife was not pregnant because they had not been living together for some time.
When her alleged due date came and went, she needed to produce a baby.
On Monday morning, Ramirez walked into the Garden Grove Hospital Medical Center and allegedly tried to steal a newborn baby girl. She was stopped after the baby's security bracelet triggered an alarm, alerting hospital workers that a kidnapping was in progress.
"Once this sensor gets close to our exit doors, the alarm just goes off, and once the alarm goes off, a 'code pink' is actually activated," said chief nursing officer Sofia Abrina.
Hospital officials say when a "code pink" is issued, the hospital goes into lockdown. Security detained Ramirez as she tried to leave the maternity floor but was unable to get the locked door open.
In a 911 call released by authorities, the hospital worker says the woman tried to walk out with a baby in a bag.
"It's, like, crazy. At first, when the doctor asked her to open up the bag, she didn't want to, and of course, a baby was found," she says.
The attempt was not Ramirez's first, police said. Last month, she may have tried something similar at Western Medical Center - Anaheim.
"She went in and talked to some of the expectant mothers inside of the hospital, asking them when they were due, what was the sex of the baby," said Garden Grove Police Lt. Jeff Nightengale.
One of the mothers became suspicious and notified the staff, who called police. A crime warning flier was issued to local hospitals and police departments.
Ramirez, who is an undocumented immigrant, is being held on an immigration hold without bail. She is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday on kidnapping charges.