Saturday, June 23, 2018
Public safety

Port Richey assisted living center employee admits to stealing, pawning residents' jewelry

Times staff

PORT RICHEY — Eleven times he sold stolen jewelry to a pawn shop, deputies said — jewelry he took from people in his care.

From August to January, Brandon Lee Johnson, 32, of Port Richey pawned more than $7,500 worth of jewelry he stole from residents of Emeritus at La Casa Grande assisted living center at 6400 Trouble Creek Road, according to reports from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

He was a medical technician there, an arrest report said, so he had access to their rooms.

Lee was arrested Wednesday at his apartment at 9814 Hidden Lane, charged with dealing in stolen property. During those five months, he went to Pasco Jewelry and Loan in New Port Richey, and sold 50 pieces of gold jewelry. It was so much in so short a time, it tipped off a detective.

The report said Lee got about $2,000 for the jewelry, which he told the pawn shop was his.

When the detective arrested him, Lee admitted he stole and pawned the jewelry. Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Melanie Snow said Lee quit his job at Emeritus.

He was being held in Land O' Lakes jail Thursday, in lieu of $10,000 bail.

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