Elyria police say there are now potentially three elderly victims who have been duped out of money by a woman going door-to-door with fake stories.
The first incident happened at a 90-year-old woman's home on Delaware Avenue in Elyria.
Police say a woman knocked at the door and told the elderly woman she was a home health aide. The door knocker said she had to inspect the house and that it would cost $40. The elderly woman paid her and said the woman also stole money from her purse before leaving.
“It’s appalling to think that this person is going out and preying on these people,” said Elyria Police Captain Christopher Costantino.
Police say the suspect lives in the area and was familiar with where elderly people live.
The same woman went to the home of a 62-year-old mentally disabled woman on Mockingbird Lane, according to police. This time the suspect was more aggressive. Police say she grabbed the woman and pushed her down. Again, police say she stole money from the woman’s purse and used her stolen credit cards.
“She would have continued, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind this would’ve continued,” Costantino said.
Based on descriptions of the woman, an officer recognized her and arrested 33-year-old Charlene Jones. She has been charged with two counts of burglary.
On Wednesday, an 80-year-old woman came forward to tell police she was also tricked out of money by a woman who knocked on her door. The woman said she had a sick child and needed money to buy her medicine. Jones has not been charged in this case, but police say she is considered a suspect.
Because Jones preyed on the elderly, police say it’s possible there are other victims who haven’t told police or family members, or who may not have even realized Jones was lying about being a home health aide.
“Our goal is to hopefully get this information out and see if there’s other victims that would come forward. Actually, this morning, we were detailed out to Delaware Ave. where there was another complaint that we feel is associated with this,” Costantino said.
Police found drug paraphernalia on Jones, and believe she was desperate for money to buy drugs.
“It’s frustrating to think that someone would let their addiction take over them so much that they would prey on people that are elderly and people with disabilities,” Costantino said.
Jones is being held on a $30,000 bond and will be arraigned in court Thursday afternoon.