Two women were arrested on suspicion of stealing more than $35,000 while caring for an elderly couple who needed help around the clock, authorities in Northern California said.
The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to a potential case of elder abuse after an anonymous tipster called Thursday to report the incident in Grass Valley. Sheriff’s deputies responded to a residence in the 15000 block of Tippy Way in Alta Sierra and began their investigation into the suspected theft of a husband and wife who each use wheelchairs, the deputies said in a Tuesday social media post.
The suspects – a 29-year-old woman and a 44-year-old woman – were arrested. The 29-year-old woman is accused of stealing at least $15,000 while her alleged counterpart is accused of taking at least $20,000 over four months from the disabled husband and wife, deputies said.
Each woman had direct access to sensitive financial information and leveraged it for their respective personal uses, Ashley Quadros, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, wrote in an email.
“This is an example of a crime of opportunity,” Quadros added.
Both suspects have posted their $30,000 bail and are no longer in custody. They had not been formally charged as of Tuesday afternoon, according to court records.
The two women were also arrested on suspicion of being a babysitter, stealing from an elderly person, conspiracy and creating counterfeit checks.
The investigation is ongoing, deputies said. Reports of elder abuse in Nevada County can be made by calling 530-265-7880.
“The level of abuse in this case is heartbreaking,” Lt. Russell Greene said in a statement posted online. “This husband and wife require 24-hour care and depend on caregivers to help them live comfortably. Instead of comfort and care, exploitation and financial theft took place.