State Investigating Nursing Home Identify Thefts

Credit cards, checks, deposit slips and drivers licenses from four different elder care residents. That's what police say 36 year old Jessica Solomon was carrying on Saturday when she was arrested for trying to steal a phone charger at this Walgreens.

East Hartford police may never have discovered the financial evidence, if Solomon hadn't refused to show the officer her ID.

"By him bringing her into the station and booking her that allowed him to gather more information," said Lt. Rick Soto.

A notebook found among Solomon's possessions contains names, social security numbers, dates of birth and bank information for several residents of the Villages of Buckland Court in South Windsor, including the four victims in this case.

NBC Connecticut has learned that Solomon was a nurses’ assistant in training at the facility and only had worked there for about a month.

According to a statement from the facility's director, the facility performs criminal background checks on every employee. But Solomon faces three pending larceny charges, separate from her arrest this past weekend.

Julia Evans Starr, executive director of the State's Commission on Aging, says they see hundreds of cases like this every year, where valuables and personal information are stolen from elderly people. She says due diligence when choosing a nursing home or assisted living facility is imperative, but that's just the first step.

"Consider having a safe in your room. Where you'd put money and check book and credit cards and have only you and your adult child or conservator has access to," said Starr.

More importantly, the Commission on Aging wants to empower seniors and their adult children to be proactive and hold the facility accountable in the case of elder abuse or theft. The state has a Long Term Care Ombudsman to handle concerns of residents and their families.

Meanwhile, South Windsor police have opened a suspicious circumstances investigation because they are concerned about identity theft. They say the management at the Villages at Buckland Court has responded appropriately and is cooperating.

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