Home Caregiver Accused of Theft in Jackson

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JACKSON (WILX)-- The person supposed to be taking care of an elderly couple, takes advantage of them instead.

A home care worker in Jackson is accused of stealing money and a credit card from a couple she was supposed to be taking care of.

Dorothy Huffer of Jackson says she and her husband never suspected that their care giver would steal from them. They had been working with the woman from Evergreen Home Care since May. Huffer says the woman seemed trustworthy.

"She seemed very nice, and reliable. She came from a valued agency so we didn't give it a second thought. Every time she came, I've gone out," said Huffer.

The caregiver supposedly stole more than a hundred in cash, and an old credit card. Huffers noticed the money missing less than 24 hours after it was stolen, but it was too late. The thief had already gone on a shopping spree at several Jackson businesses, including a jewelry store says Huffers.

"My first reaction was shock. I looked at the credit card records and she had put a down payment on a ring with the credit card."

Police say they suspect the caregiver, and will have a warrant out for her arrest. Sheriff Steve Rand says these types of thefts are becoming more common in the Jackson area.

"We've had incidents where housekeeping people take advantage of a situation. We all need to be more diligent about not leaving out temptation," said Rand.

There are more than a thousand home care agencies in Michigan.
To find a reliable one the Michigan Home Care Association suggests asking for background checks, certifications, and references. For a link to Michigan Home Care Association check at the bottom of this story.

Amy Parkinson, Director of Sparrow Home Care adds that people should avoid any agency that hasn't been in existence very long, and once you hire someone it should be made clear they aren't to be in any rooms alone without an explanation.

Huffer says she'll be more thorough when hiring another caregiver. She doesn't plan on living in fear of being stolen from twice.

"If you feel you have to lock everything up I don't think you can have someone come in."

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