Island Health, RCMP investigating allegations of caregiver stealing money from senior

WATCH: A Nanaimo woman worried her elderly father was being robbed set up surveillance cameras to capture the culprit. While the cameras have not caught a theft, they did record some unnerving footage. Neetu Garcha explains.

A woman hired to take care of a Nanaimo senior is also using the opportunity to take his money, allege 93-year-old Douglas Fairbanks and his daughter Susan Tye.

“It’s making me absolutely sick to my stomache, I have lost sleep, I have been throwing up, there has been — the stress it’s caused is unbelievable,” Tye said.

Fairbanks said he’s meticulous with his money, keeping a daily tally of how much cash he has.

“I know how much money is in my wallet every morning,” Fairbanks said.

The father, daughter duo said in three separate cases, cash had disappeared from Fairbanks’ wallet.

“It was $570 since May 10th,” Tye said.

They said it was the same caregiver at their home each of those three days they noticed money was missing.

Story continues below advertisement

Suspecting it wasn’t just a coincidence, they set up surveillance cameras in the home.

The footage does not show the woman stealing from the home but Tye and Fairbanks allege a July 16th visit, caught on tape, could lead to charges.

“[That day], she came in unlawfully,” Tye alleges. “She was working that day but she was not scheduled to be in this home.”

That day’s video appears to show the woman open up a drawer, and reach for what appears to be Fairbanks’ wallet. He said there was only $10 in there, and no money was taken that day.

Tye said there’s nothing in that drawer that a caregiver would need to do their job.

“She has no business being in that drawer,” Tye said.

The surveillance videos also show the woman appearing to rummage through a bedroom.

“You have no protection, I mean, I’m sitting in the chair and I can’t see what’s behind me,” Fairbanks said.

Fairbanks is a veteran and his care is paid for by Veterans Affairs Canada; the residential care staff are Island Health employees.

Officials would not confirm whether any of the allegations have been proven; two separate investigations are underway.

In an email statement, the health authority said an internal investigation is underway, adding “we are very aware of this individual’s concerns and we take them extremely seriously… We have been and continue to be in communication with this family.”

Story continues below advertisement

The other investigation is through Nanaimo RCMP.

“We have an allegation of theft; it’s being investigated,” Cst. Gary O’Brien told Global News. “Because it’s an active investigation we can’t make any comment concerning the details of that investigation.”

Tye, who is a residential care aide, said she just wants to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.

“You have to know they’re safe, you have to know that they’re belongings are safe,” she said.