Investigators say that Glenn used Prather's ATM card to take cash for her own use
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
South Georgia advocates for the elderly say financial abuse of seniors is a nationwide epidemic... And a woman here was recently targeted.
Police are searching for an Albany caregiver, charged with stealing thousands of dollars from the 86 year old Dougherty County woman she was caring for.
SOWEGA Council on Aging officials say they are seeing this crime far too often.
Dougherty County Police have charged the caregiver with 36 counts of financial transaction card fraud and exploitation of the elderly. And it was caught on video tape.
Surveillance video from the Harvey's Supermarket on Sylvester Road. Investigators say that is 46 year old Patricia Glenn using 86 year old Viola Prather's debit card several time to withdraw hundreds of dollars from Prather's bank account. Glenn was the caregiver for Prather this year. Police say this is one of four locations they have surveillance video of Glenn using Prather's debit card without her permission.
Dougherty County Police Sgt. Chad Kirkpatrick said "We have video surveillance where the victim was not with her, and there are multiple transactions with like this one specific day. Also where she would the ATM card."
October 9th Prather's family reported missing money from her checking account.
Kirkpatrick said "The total is around $7500 total we have missing right now. This is an ongoing investigation and as we are digging deeper into this it looks like she has been doing this for several month. Most of the year."
SOWEGA Council on Aging officials say they are seeing more elder abuse fraud.
SOWEGA Council on Aging Executive Director Kay Hind said "Nationally 2.1 million people are reported as abused every year. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Because they claim there are five cases that are not reported for every one that is."
Police say Patricia Glenn is on the run from her Dobbs Drive home. If you have any information about her whereabouts, you are asked to call Dougherty County Police at 430-6600 or CRIMESTOPPERS at 436-TIPS. Council on Aging officials urge you to protect the elderly you know.
Hind said "If anybody suspects that they know someone that is being abused physically. Neglect. Financially. Any of those things, report it."
Because they say elder crime is increasing, but too much is unreported.
SOWEGA Council on Aging officials say if you just suspect elder abuse, but have no proof, just report it to officials. If the person is in a nursing home or personal care facility in South Georgia, call SOWEGA Council on Aging. They have four state certified ombudsmen who investigate those cases.
If the suspected abuse is from a caregiver or family member, call the Adult Abuse line at the Georgia Department of Human Resources. That phone number is 866-552-4464.