Updated: 06/27/2014 6:31 PM
Created: 06/26/2014 3:01 PM WHEC.com
Police say she stole from elderly people she was supposed to be caring for. On Friday, a home health aide in Henrietta is accused of stealing $70,000 worth of jewelry, cash and saving bonds from patients at River’s Run Senior Living Center.
Colleen McKibbin, 53, of Rush, is charged with multiple counts of grand larceny.
News10NBC spoke to a woman who says Colleen McKibbin stole from her parents. She says this was a person they trusted completely, which makes the whole thing so hard to wrap her head around it. Experts say this happens more often than you may think.
Art Mason, Lifespan, said, “Financial exploitation, like taking someone's valuables or stealing; only one out of every 48 cases is ever reported to authorities.”
Colleen McKibben worked for Unity Health Systems from June of 2010 till June of this year. She was hired by a number of families at River's Run Community Center in Henrietta to care for their loves ones.
News10NBC spoke to a woman who says McKibben took care of her parents. She was too upset to speak on camera, but said precious heirlooms have been taken from her family forever. She did report them missing, but Art Mason, the director at Lifespan, says often people are afraid to.
Mason said, “Very often older adults are afraid they will lose the aids, even if they think something is amiss, that they will lose the aid and go into a nursing home. That is not true.”
According to court paperwork, McKibben is accused of stealing from four of her patients. Investigators say they found pictures of the stolen items at a pawn shop in Greece, but the items were long gone.
News10NBC went to McKibben's home, but no one came to the door. Her neighbor did want to talk to us.
Eric Smutz, neighbor, said, “Very surprised, she has always been an outgoing person. I really can't believe she is even involved in this. When she goes to court, hopefully she is not involved in it.”
So what can you do to help protect your loved ones?
Mason said, “They should check on their loved ones, their older relatives with frequency. I think it is very common to lock up the valuables, put them under lock and key, or take them out of the house if you have a stranger coming into the house.”
A spokesperson for Unity Health Systems says McKibben is no longer employed there and they have and will continue to cooperate with the investigation.