NEW PORT RICHEY — A caregiver tasked with buying an elderly woman's groceries stole at least $500 from the woman's checking account, deputies said.
Julisa Walker, a part-time caregiver for Bayada Nurses, was hired to help maintain the home of an 86-year-old woman, who suffered from dementia and short-term memory loss.
But in June, Walker, 19, withdrew $500 of the woman's money from an ATM without her knowledge, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report. Deputies said another unknown person cashed a check of the victim's for $2,500 later that month, and someone using the victim's debit card tried to withdraw $600 in Dade City.
A volunteer with CARES, a local nonprofit that helps the elderly pay their bills, discovered the odd charges and reported them to deputies, who gathered bank video footage linking the withdrawal to Walker, the report said.
Walker, of Spring Hill, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of exploitation of the elderly. She was released later that day on $5,000 bail.
She had quit Bayada Nurses before her arrest, deputies said. Rick Buck, a spokesman for Bayada Nurses in Mount Laurel, N.J., said the company was "shocked and appalled" at the alleged theft and would make full restitution.
"We are also working with the authorities to ensure justice prevails," Buck said.