A 49-year-old caregiver is facing criminal charges after she allegedly stole close to $270,000 from an elderly Coquitlam couple under her care.
Police said the alleged theft occurred over a one-year span and an investigation was launched in April 2016 by the Coquitlam RCMP Economic Crime Unit after the 91-year-old victim realized money was missing from her account.
With the help of the bank, police were able to watch surveillance images of local automated bank machines and, with help from the victim, identified the suspect as Antonette Dizon. Dizon worked as a long-time caregiver for the couple at Home Care Assistance.
On May 30, the Economic Crime Unit searched Dizon’s Burnaby home and gathered evidence to support a charge of fraud over $5,000.
“This was a person in a position of trust who saw an opportunity to benefit financially and took full advantage of the very people she was hired to care for,” said Coquitlam RCMP Cst. Jamie Phillipson.
“This is a form of elder abuse, plain and simple.”
According to Carolina Orosa, who is the manager of Home Care Assistance, Dizon was terminated in October 2015 for being “unreliable”. Orosa said she believes Dizon continued to have contact with the client after she was terminated from Home Care Assistance.
Orosa also said their facility has “never had any incidence of theft in our 6 years of operation and we have very stringent measures in place with respect to hiring our caregivers — background checks, personality screening tests and reference checks.”
“I am completely shocked by the magnitude of theft committed and am extremely saddened that this happened. We will continue to support the family and the investigation in any way that we can.”
Mounties said Dizon was arrested and released on court ordered conditions, including restricted access to any elderly care home facility. She is scheduled to appear in the Port Coquitlam Provincial Court House on June 27.
For more information on preventing elder abuse, head to the RCMP’s website.