ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Grover Lashley is 90 years old. A week ago he discovered that a diamond ring was missing from its box in a dresser drawer.
Police say his grandson, 45-year-old Stephen Young, stole and pawned the ring for $50 in Leesburg.
Young was arrested and charged with theft and cruelty to a person 65 or older.
Dougherty County Probate Judge Nancy Stephenson said family members taking advantage of elderly relatives is a big crime problem.
"I see it a lot," Stephenson said. "I see it everyday. And it's an epidemic. A lot of time people feel entitled to property that belongs to their parents or grandparents. So they justify it to themselves."
Judge Stephenson said in recent years she has seen crimes against the elderly rise in number, and become more cruel.
"There is really no limit to what I've seen people do," she said. "People take medicine from folks who are suffering. I've seen people take jewelry from folks on their deathbed. It's really a heartbreak."
Judge Stephenson said she expects to see more similar cases in the future as the population ages, and urges people to hire professionals to protect themselves and their property in their later years.
In this case, Lashley did get his wedding ring back.
He and his wife said they still love their grandson very much, and noted that the family is getting help for him.