A woman is facing a growing number of charges after police say she stole jewelry and other valuables from multiple senior living facilities in Massachusetts.
Anne Rose Fleurant, a 36-year-old home health aide from Weymouth, is accused of stealing property from senior homes — including some where she was supposed to be working and others where she did not work.
Randolph Police Chief Anthony Marag said Tuesday that Fleurant was facing charges including identity fraud, receiving a stolen credit card and improper use of a credit card.
"It is an unfortunate situation with someone in that position takes advantage of the elderly and those who can not protect themselves," Marag said Wednesday.
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The investigation began last month, when a resident of Randolph senior facility reported their jewelry was missing. They later discovered their credit card had been taken and used at a department store and an area liquor store.
Police determined that similar thefts had occurred at other senior living centers in several towns, including Randolph, Quincy, Braintree, Weymouth, Cohasset and Westwood.
Additional victims may be unaware of the thefts, police said.
"It is disappointing we had to do this investigation, but it is also important to know that it can happen, and we are going to work with our facilities in town to educate them," Marag said.
Authorities say several of the victims have varying levels of dementia.
Fleurant had worked as a health aide in the past, police said while alleging she posed as an aide and as a hospice nurse at facilities where she did not work.
On Wednesday, Fleurant drove to Randolph Police headquarters to complain about her mug shot being posted on Facebook. She declined to comment on the charges she is facing.
"Someone put my name on Facebook saying I stole credit cards," she said as she got into her SUV.
A search of the suspect's possessions found personal checks, jewelry, handbags and work identification cards for 12 different health care agencies, police said.
"It is not just a crime, but a violation of public trust," said Brian Doherty, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Assisted Living Association.
Doherty says it is important for families to research any home health aide agency before hiring them to take care of a loved one.
"The key takeaway here is when you have a loved one in assisted living who will need an outside caregiver to come in from an outside agency, vet that agency, ask some questions, ask about their criminal background checks, and what precautions they have in place," he said. "This is a distressing event we are taking seriously."
Police are working to return about 50 stolen items. Some bear personalized inscriptions.
"It is clear that many of the recovered items are unique, personalized and meaningful," Marag said.