A woman has been arrested, accused of preying on elderly residents at senior living facilities.
She’s accused of posing as a medical worker, requesting urine samples, then stealing jewelry.
Police fear there could be more victims.
They are accusations Brian Howe says are difficult to comprehend.
“How someone can do that to someone they care for is beyond me,” he said.
His grandmother lives at Discovery Villages at Castle Hills in Lewisville.
The senior living facility says it contracted Medical Lab Partners to test residents for COVID-19.
The tests were completed without incident and the team left early in the day, according to police.
“Later that evening the same nurse that was doing the test arrived,” said Howe.
Lewisville police said Laketha Calhoun posed as a ‘nurse’ and approached three residents, possibly five, all women including Howe’s grandmother.
“Telling them that they needed to do urine testing as part of the next COVID testing process,” said Matt Martucci, spokesperson for the Lewisville Police Department.
Howe said his grandmother recognized the woman from earlier in the day and ‘trusted’ her.
“She thought maybe that was a new way they were testing so she went ahead and complied and when she came out of the restroom the lady was gone and she noticed some of her things had been rummaged through,” said Howe.
His grandmother realized several rings given to her by her late husband on their anniversaries had been stolen.
“That really broke her heart that someone had taken the things that she treasures so much,” said Howe. “It kind of made me upset because the person that is supposed to be caring for the elderly took advantage of them.”
A representative at Castle Hills senior apartment community released a statement to NBC 5 saying in part:
‘Castle Hills staff reviewed video surveillance and have provided police with footage of this lab employee and the car driven. We continue to cooperate fully with the police. Discovery village at Castle Hills did all they can, helped and cooperated fully with the police. Without the security protocols, awareness of the staff and the prompt response and identification of the suspect immediately when it happened none of the cases would be resolved. We are a team of professionals who cares deeply about the safety and wellbeing of our residents and team members. We always treat everybody as family with dignity and all the respect they deserve.’
Lewisville police detectives began investigating, fearing there were more victims in this facility and possibly in other cities.
“We’re putting the word out there that if this scenario sounds familiar to you or you have a relative and they’ve told you they’ve experienced something like this… call us,” said Martucci.
It allegedly did happen.
Garland police said Calhoun approached a resident at Brookdale Club Hill Assisted Living in mid-September.
“She [Calhoun] stated she worked for a medical lab company, she was there on doctor’s order to get a urine sample from her,” said Officer Felicia Jones of the Garland Police Department. “While she [the resident] went to the bathroom to submit a sample the suspect took it upon herself and took advantage of the victim by going to her bedroom and stealing jewelry from her.”
Garland police said the victim did not immediately notice the stolen items and reported the theft a day later.
Calhoun stated she worked for Medical Lab Partners, but it is not clear if this medical lab had previously been contracted by the facility, according to police.
Police were called to the same facility days later when a resident reported a woman attempting the same scheme and managed to identify Calhoun, said Jones.
Garland police detectives reportedly tracked down surveillance video of Calhoun pawning the victim’s jewelry.
Police obtained a warrant for Calhoun’s arrest.
Addison police arrested Calhoun.
She is currently being held in the Carrollton jail on $1,000, according to Carrolton police.
Calhoun faces theft and exploitation of the elderly charges, according to Lewisville police.
“Everyone will be happy to hear that police have made an arrest and getting this lady off the streets,” said Howe. “I know there are a lot of people that are requesting to be on her jury.”
Howe later told NBC 5 his mother was able to identify at least one ring recovered by police.
Both police departments and the facility in Lewisville tell NBC 5 the company that entered the facilities was Medical Lab Partners.
A representative of Medical Lab Partners told NBC 5 over the phone that Calhoun was a contract worker, but claims she used a different company’s name to gain entry into the facility in Lewisville, and not their company’s name.
The representative then told NBC 5 he had no comment on the accusations.
Lewisville police said Calhoun has confessed to their theft case.
Lewisville Police urge any other potential victims to call their non-emergency number 972-219-3640 or your local police department.