Nurse's aide accused of stealing from Zephyrhills patient

Published Oct. 26, 2012

ZEPHYRHILLS — When $650 went missing from a 91-year-old man's wallet, the staff at West Winds Assisted Living Facility wanted to catch the thief.

Business director Kelly Irish O'Keefe called the Zephyrhills Police Department and had cameras placed in the man's room. They put bait money in the man's night stand, where his money had been stolen twice since Sept. 25. Reports say surveillance video captured Christal Rashawn Holmes, 30, a nurse's aide at the facility, taking the bait money on Tuesday.

O'Keefe said she made sure Holmes was arrested at the nursing home, 34711 Eiland Blvd., in front of her co-workers and patients. Holmes told deputies she needed the money because her house was being foreclosed upon and she was "trying to help her grandmother," a Zephyrhills police report states.

Holmes, of 38947 Old Sparkman Road in Dade City, was arrested on a charge of theft from a person over 65. She was being held Thursday at the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.

"We wanted to make sure that all the staff know that nothing like that would ever be acceptable by any of our staff," O'Keefe said. "We do not play around with exploitation of the elderly."

Times staff