Dougherty County officials see increase in crime against elderly

Dougherty County officials see increase in crime against elderly

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Dougherty County law enforcers say exploitation crimes against the elderly are skyrocketing

Investigators, prosecutors, and judges all agree that crooks see many seniors as easy targets.
 And they say family members are too often the ones exploiting the senior citizens.

It's a shocking crime that law enforcement says is increasing dramatically as the population ages.  The District Attorney says he is looking to start a task force to work only crimes against the elderly.

27 year old Jamia Williams was arrested this week and charged with financial exploitation of a person over the age of 65. The victim, her grandmother.
Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Captain Craig Dodd said "She turned in a check to a landlord to pay rent and back rent. And it was on her grandmother."

Probate Judge Nancy Stephenson says her office is seeing a big increase in crimes against the elderly.
Stephenson said "It's epidemic really. And for everyone you see that's caught, there are ten more that we don't know about yet."

District Attorney Greg Edwards said crimes against the elderly are growing quickly because there are more elderly, they have more money, and are reporting the crimes.  A growth so disturbing he wants to start a task force to deal with them.

Edwards said "Try to obtain grant money for the purpose of developing a division that will deal primarity with victims of elder abuse and elderly crime."

And law enforcement says in the majority of the crimes, it's their family members ripping them off.
Stephenson said "They feel entitled to their parents money, and they feel it's unfair that they are having to take care of this elderly person that no one ever expected to live this long."

Law enforcement says as the population ages, they expect crimes targeting the elderly to only get worse. 

That's why the D.A. says he sees the need for more investigators fighting crimes against the elderly.  Williams is facing two felony charges, and remains in the Dougherty County jail Tuesday night.
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