12 06 2008

Caregiver guilty of stealing jewelry from disabled Bensenville woman

by Art Barnum | Chicago Tribune reporter / June 10, 2008

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-disabled-theft-both-jun11,0,912086.story

The caregiver for a disabled Bensenville woman was convicted Tuesday of stealing jewelry from her and pawning the items.

Latasha Powell, 36, of the 500 block of Alton Court, Carol Stream, was charged with theft and financial exploitation of the elderly. She was found guilty in a bench trial by DuPage County Judge Robert Anderson.

Powell faces up to 7 years in prison when she is sentenced July 23.

The bedridden victim, 61, has degenerative polio, is a paraplegic and is on a respirator, said Assistant State’s Atty. David Imielski. About a year after taking the job, Powell began stealing the estimated 30 bracelets, 25 rings and assorted chains.

After asking to see her jewelry and finding numerous pieces missing, the victim reported the theft to Bensenville police. They began investigating three caregivers.

Police discovered that from April to July 2006, Powell had sold items to a Glendale Heights pawn shop on six occasions, receiving a total of $2,300.

Prosecutors place the value of the stolen items between $6,900 and $13,000.

A search of Powell’s home uncovered two bracelets and a ring that the victim identified.

abarnum@tribune.com

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