JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – An 89-year-old man was the victim of theft in early February, when his check book was stolen and checks used.
According to Johns Creek police, it is believed the victim’s home care provider stole the checks and used them between Feb. 2 and 11 to make several purchases in metro-area Walmart stores in Lilburn, Loganville, Lithonia and Rome. The suspect bought hundreds of dollars’ worth of items. In total, nearly $1,200 was stolen using the fraudulent checks.
Anyone with any information as to the identity of the suspect is asked to contact Atlanta Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477 or visit them at www.CrimeStoppersAtlanta.org.
According to Doug Lueder, of the National Aging in Place Council (NAIPC), with home care rising in popularity, incidents of theft by caregivers are on the rise as well. Unfortunately, due to a loophole in the law, some caregivers convicted of theft can repeat their acts after getting their records expunged.
Lueder said he caught a caregiver on video surveillance stealing from an elderly man.
The suspect was arrested and went before a judge where he was given probation and had his record cleaned. The list of professions where a criminal record would show up currently includes child care, caring for the disabled and other types of elderly care. Home care is not included.
“The crime would not show up on a normal background check,” Lueder said. “Those who have been caught, confessed and convicted of these crimes can go and do it again.”
Along with Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, Lueder spearheaded legislation this year to add caregiver to the list of professions that would show up on a background check.
“The change would make home care safer,” Lueder said.