Updated: 05/02/2014 5:24 PM
Created: 05/01/2014 10:11 PM WHEC.com
By: Rachel Spotts
It's a crime that's hard to believe. A person in charge of caring for the elderly is accused of stealing from them. Police say that’s exactly what Rebecca Russell did at a senior home in Newark where she was an administrative assistant. Investigators say Russell stole tens of thousands of dollars from eight different people.
Rebecca Russell has been fired from her job at the Armstrong Senior Living Center. Police say she basically ran the center, working with all the residents and their families and overseeing things like their finances. That's what the police chief says makes this case so disturbing.
Chief David Christler, Newark Police, said, “The people that go into nursing homes are vulnerable. They're trustworthy people. They're elderly.”
So why would someone take their money? That's what police in Newark are trying to find out after they say Rebecca Russell stole more than $75,000 from eight residents at the Armstrong Senior Living Center. The police chief says Russell stole $70,000 from one man's inheritance.
Chief Christler said, “When the inheritance came up, Rebecca Russell asked or became his very best friend, according to him. She convinced him that she should help him take this to the bank and then set up a bank account where her name would be on the bank account.”
Chief Christler says it happens more often than you might think and everyone is at risk.
Christler said, “Even if you aren't elderly, you can be taken advantage of just by not watching what's happening, anybody who has access to your money, whether you know it or not, can get in there and remove money.”
Rebecca Russell is facing a number of charges including grand larceny, which is a felony. She declined to comment Friday. She has been arraigned and is due back in Newark Village Court on May 7.
Police say there may be other victims in this case. If you believe you or your loved one may be a victim, please contact Investigator Jay Warren at 315-331-3701.