Home health care worker arrested - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Home health care worker arrested

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30 year old Nicholas Lewis 30 year old Nicholas Lewis

A former Albany home health care employee is charged with stealing from an elderly man he was paid to take care of. 

Officials say it's a serious crime they worry will become more common, because of our aging population. 

Police say the employee got his elderly client's credit card and computer, and started making purchases, including paying to enroll himself on a dating site called 'Date Hookup dot com.'    

30 year old Nicholas Lewis was arrested Sunday by Dougherty County Police, and charged with more than a half dozen felony financial transaction card fraud and theft, and theft by taking charges. 

An employee of Jay and Jay Home Health Care Agency, Lewis had been caring for Bubber Pippin since January, but in March the family reported thefts to the police.  

Dougherty County Police Lt. Chad Kirkpatrick said, "The victim's cell phone went missing and also they noticed some charges on two of her credit cards."  

Lewis worked for Jay and Jay Home Health Care for more than a year. Owners Jesse and Mary Jackson said they were shocked when the Pippins called to complain, and they fired Lewis. 

Mary Jackson said they knew Lewis had had criminal problems in the past, but her staff thought he should be given a second chance. "They made the call on him. They interviewed him.  They made the call on him. He represented himself well and we employed him."

In fact, Lewis had served almost two years in state prison for theft by receiving, burglary, and forgery charges.  Dougherty County Probate Judge Nancy Stephenson said this type crime is rampant. "I just can't tell you how many cases like this I am seeing every day.  With elderly people being taken advantage," she said.

The Jacksons say their company has already made hiring changes, to try to make sure this does not happen again.  "We instituted a plan that we put in place.  We will not only take just local background check. We'll do a national background," Jackson said.

Lewis remains in the Dougherty County jail with no bond set.     

Jay and Jay's owners are bonded, and they say they will make the thefts right with the Pippins.  Investigators did recover the stolen cell phone and returned it.


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