CHICAGO — A suburban man is charged with stealing nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, while working as an assistant at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.
Mitchell R. Gunther, 39, of Burbank is charged with burglary, two counts of theft over $500 and two counts of possessing nitrous oxide with the intent to deliver.
Gunther is accused of stealing and selling 10 nitrous oxide tanks, a medical gas used as an anesthetic in medical procedures and surgeries. Gunther worked as an assistant in charge of Lurie Children’s Hospital’s medical tank gas supply from June 2020 until March 2022.
Prosecutors say Gunther was captured on video using his car to transport nitrous oxide tanks outside work hours on three separate occasions.
After he was fired, prosecutors allege that Gunther traveled to St. Mary’s Hospital on Chicago’s West Side and posed as a nitrous oxide delivery driver for Medox, a gas delivery company Gunther previously worked for. Gunther allegedly stole two nitrous oxide tanks from St. Mary’s and replaced them with empty tanks.
“As alleged, this injustice endangered our community’s children and the medical personnel that cared for them,” said Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI. “These charges are the first step in ensuring that justice is served, and I am proud of the work done here alongside our partners.”
Gunther’s bond was set at $10,000. His next court date is March 20.