In a brazen display of greed, a nurse’s aid entered the room of a disabled New York nursing home resident and removed her engagement ring directly from her hand. Local police say Chad Smith, a nurses aide at Eastern Star Nursing Home will be charged with third-degree grand larceny.
After Smith removed the engagement ring from the resident’s hand, he used a nail clipper to pry the diamond from the setting. Smith took the loose diamond to a local pawn shop where he apparently received $300 for the stone. The stone’s actual value was estimated to be more than $4,000.
Police say the diamond has not been recovered. No word if authorities at this nursing home are keeping this thief on the payroll.
Theft In Nursing Homes
Nursing home theft is the most common type of crime in nursing homes. Most nursing home residents never expect themselves to be victimized by criminals in a setting they consider to be safe. In order to minimize theft, the following precautions should be in place:
- Lock boxes should be available and used
- Criminal background checks should be conducted on all nursing home employees, visitors and volunteers.
- Family members should do an inventory of items when their loved one enters the facility and periodically during visits
- Keep valuables and cash with loved ones if possible
- Report any missing items to staff immediately
- Consider securing televisions, stereos and computers to a fixed object such as a deck
- Take photos of all valuables
- Consider taking out an insurance policy to insure all personal items
Nursing home residents are entitled to use their personal items. If you believe some personal items were taken, it is best to report the incident to local police immediately so they may conduct a timely investigation.
Web Resources Regarding Theft In Nursing Homes
Reducing nursing home theft: tips from a consultant, by Patrick Donaldson