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A news that appeared recently in several local news outlets is about one Tampa-area cleaning lady, employed at Aston Gardens at Tampa Bay, who has been arrested on charges of stealing more than $100k worth of valuables from elderly residents.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, she was employed between January and October of 2020. During her tenure, she stole jewelry and other valuables from residents while cleaning their rooms. Most of the items were pawned at local pawn shops.

Police were alerted when residents began to complain of missing items and mentioned the cleaning lady as a suspect. She was arrested and charged with five counts of grand theft, five counts of false information on a pawnbroker form, and five counts of dealing in stolen property.

A common crime

Unfortunately, crime against residents at assisted living facilities is not uncommon. For many thieves, they are seen as unsuspecting, vulnerable targets with lots of jewelry and valuables ripe for the taking.

Just last year in Winter Grove, Florida a nursing home worker was charged with grand theft and exploitation of the elderly after stealing rings and other valuables from nursing home residents.

In order to reduce crimes perpetrated against elderly citizens, state legislatures have passed more aggressive laws intended to severely punish those who exploit senior citizens.

Being charged with the crime of theft can mean prison time, fines, and a permanent stain on a person’s record. The stigma of a conviction can be difficult to undue. A criminal defense lawyer is trained to protect their client’s rights and ensure their side of the story gets heard.