Grove City Record

Police beat

Grove City: Caretaker suspected of using client to obtain phone, tablet

A caretaker of a disabled resident is suspected of inappropriately using the resident to obtain a cellphone and tablet computer for herself, Grove City police reported.

On March 10, officers responded to report of a theft at a residence in the 3900 block of Larosa Drive. Officers spoke with one of the caretakers of the resident, a 33-year-old woman with developmental disabilities that requires 24-hour professional care.

The caretaker who spoke with police, who like the suspect is employed by a company that contracts with the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities, told police she became suspicious when she saw the resident with a new cellphone on March 1. She asked the resident where she got it from, but the resident didn't tell her, so she took the resident to a local Sprint Store. Sprint told the caretaker the resident had come in with another woman and purchased two cellphones and received an electronic tablet for free for the purchase. The phones were put in the resident's name with a two-year agreement, and the price is being billed to her over several months.

The caretaker said the resident told her that her first-shift caretaker, who was not named in the report, had taken her to the Sprint Store and has the other phone and tablet. The resident does not have the mental capacity to make these decisions, according to the report.

At this time, no charges have been filed and no arrests made, police reports said.

In other recent incident reports from the Grove City Division of Police:

* Several vacuum cleaners were reported stolen over recent weeks by the facility manager of a warehouse in the 2200 block of Southwest Boulevard. The most recent incident, he told police, involved eight vacuum cleaners valued at $499 stolen from a pallet between March 11 and March 13. The manager said an employee discovered an overhead dock door had been left unsecured, and that's where the entry is believed to have occurred. The manager told police a temporary employee has not shown up for work since March 7, noting that's when the thefts began.

* While on patrol around 1 a.m. March 13, an officer saw a vehicle with its lights off parked up against the wall of a closed business in the 2200 block of Southwest Boulevard. The officer approached the man sitting in the driver's seat, later identified as a 25-year-old Grove City resident, and asked him what he was doing. The defendant said he was using the business' wi-fi network. However, the officer reportedly could smell alcohol and noticed the man's eyes were bloodshot and glassy. After having the man perform field sobriety tests, which he failed, the officer arrested him for having physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The man was taken to the Grove City police station, where he was processed and released with a summons to appear on the charge in Mayor's Court.

* A resident reported the theft of his son's cellphone, valued at $400, sometime on March 10, at Brookpark Middle School, 2803 Southwest Blvd., from the son's desk where he had left it. The resident told police he had activated the phone's GPS and discovered it was somewhere on Red Oak Drive in Darbydale. The resident said he went to the school and spoke with an official who told him a student lived in that area but did not give the student's name. He said the school official told him she had called a parent of the student she suspected, and the parent was adamant the student hadn't taken it. The phone has since been turned off.

* Someone broke into the fenced-in backyard and of a residence in the 3100 block of Ventura Boulevard between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. March 10, and stole $2,250 worth of items, including a lawn mower, a set of aluminum car ramps and an electric scooter.

* Between noon and 12:15 p.m. March 11, a resident of the 3000 block of Wendy Lane reported his dog, a 9-month-old tan male Dachshund, missing after he let it out into his fenced-in backyard. The resident told police he suspects the dog was stolen because there was no way for it to get out of the fence. An officer inspected the area and saw the resident had taken extra precautions to make sure there was no area of the fence the dog could have slipped through. The dog was not wearing a collar and does not have a microchip for identification purposes.

* Between 2 p.m. March 9 and 7:17 p.m. March 13, someone stole prescription medication from a kitchen cabinet at a residence in the 2900 block of Voeller Circle. During that time, a friend of the resident's daughter was staying there, and the resident suspects the friend in the theft.

* One week after electronically submitting her federal income tax forms, a resident of the 3200 block of Columbus Street received a notice from the IRS on March 1 that someone had already filed a tax return using her Social Security number. The only information the resident was able to provide was the suspect lives in Indiana.

* On March 12, a resident of the 3900 block of Tamara Drive reported a suspected phone scam after she received a call at 9 a.m. from a woman named "Sharon" asking for payment of an $867 debt. The caller asked for the resident's birth date, which the resident refused to give, instead asking what birthday "Sharon" had listed for her. The caller provided a year that was wrong, so the resident told her she was not the person she was looking for and hung up. The resident checked the caller's number online and found it listed as a frequent number used by scammers.

* Though no financial loss was reported, a resident of the 2700 block of Walden Bluff Court received an email from the customer service department of Green Dot, a company that issues and maintains debit card accounts. The resident had never used one of the company's services, so she called the customer support number and was told an account had been opened using her name and Social Security number and been filled with funds in excess of $2,400 that were used the same day at a Wal-Mart in North Carolina.

* Someone cut a tire of a vehicle belonging to a resident of the 3900 block of Jerome Court at 6:45 a.m. March 11, causing $100 worth of damage. The resident told police he heard a hissing sound coming from the street while in his bedroom and looked out to see a male subject get into a white Lincoln four-door vehicle parked in front of his neighbor's house. That's when he saw his tire had been cut and deflated.

* Police issued a Mayor's Court summons for telecommunications harassment against an 18-year-old resident of the 3500 block of Canter Court on March 12, after he ignored a warning not to contact an ex-girlfriend, to whom he reportedly had been sending vulgar messages. The ex-girlfriend showed police a cellphone message she received from him after the warning was issued, leading to the charge.

* Someone stole the front license plate from a vehicle parked in the 4000 block of Gladman Avenue between 10:30 p.m. March 11 and 9:30 a.m. March 12. The resident and vehicle owner told police she heard a noise and looked outside about 2:30 a.m. but did not see anything out of the ordinary at the time.

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