Woman accused of stealing from retirement home residents
POSTED: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 1:30pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 3:25pm
Slidell, La — A thief who was preying on the elderly was arrested by Slidell Police. All of the victims were over 89-years-old and residing at a Slidell retirement home.
One of the victims came forward in April after she discovered several pieces of her late husband’s jewelry missing from her room. Detectives began investigating all of the employees who had access to the victim’s room.
They discovered that Stephanie Ducre, 52, who was an employee at the retirement home, had recently been selling jewelry, as well as a digital camera, to local pawn shops in the Slidell area.
When detectives showed pictures of the jewelry to some of the residents of the retirement home, three additional victims came forward to claim their stolen items.
One of the elderly victims, the owner of the stolen digital camera, is currently suffering from memory loss, and routinely looked at the pictures on her digital camera to bring back her lost memories.
Chief Randy Smith says, “There are special laws in place, that have enhances penalties, which are used to protect our elderly citizens. We want this to be a strong message that taking advantage of the elderly citizens in our community will not be tolerated.”
Most of the stolen property has been recovered, but several pieces of jewelry are still missing. It is feared that the missing the jewelry has been melted into scrap gold, and will never be recovered.
Ducre has been charged with four counts of Exploitation of the Infirm, four counts of Theft by Fraud, and four counts of Theft of Assets of an Aged Person. she is currently in St. Tammany Parish Jail.