Video surveillance footage has just been released that allegedly shows a home health care aid in Punta Gorda stealing medication from the 70 year old woman she was hired by to help for her husband.
The suspect, Jessica Brown worked for Synergy Homecare. Brown admitted to detectives stealing prescribed pills from the woman's home. She has been charged with grand theft and since has posted bond.
Brown was hired to help take care of the 70 year old's husband who has dementia. The woman who filed a complaint with police told detectives there were several pills missing of hers that she takes for anxiety and depression. The woman told detectives she only used 12 pills since filling her medication and only had 12 pills left. Thirty-six pills were missing.
Detectives installed surveillance equipment in the woman's kitchen, with her permission, at the end of December after the woman told detectives the only people who had been in her home since the time of the theft was her son and a home health nurse that comes in three times a week for a few hours.
Video surveillance shows Brown opening the cabinet and taking the pill container and from a different angle, you can see Brown putting it in her pocket.
Once arrested, Brown confessed to stealing pills from the patient's home.
Four In Your Corner spoke with Home Care services, similar to the one Brown worked for, about the incident. Sue Bidwell, owner of Home Instead Senior care says unfortunately many seniors are taken advantage of.
"It makes me crazy because it's a senior that is thinking the best of the person," Bidwell said. "People do prey on them because of the fact that they do think the best of people many times."
Bidwell tells Four In Your Corner while her business has multiple measures in place to make sure her caregivers are using the utmost ethical practices and behavior, she says even some of her clients have servaillance equipment installed inside their home.
"We really encourage people to set into something, either an agency like ourselves that has oversight of their employees or do some kind of surveillance," she said. "Our own clients have them because of the fact their kids are off in California somewhere and they want to see their mom or dad. It's two-fold. It helps with security but also helps you know that they're there."