ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – St. Petersburg police released information Friday about a caretaker who they say stole thousands of dollars from an elderly patient over the past few years.
Police say 28-year-old Shantel Byrd was the home health aide for the victim for more than three years. The victim is a 72-year-old woman who suffered a stroke and is now paralyzed on the right side of her body, officers say. Byrd would visit her home to provide assistance with daily living needs. Both Byrd and the victim live in St.Petersburg.
An arrest report says the elderly woman’s credit card was stolen and used in about 433 fraudulent transactions for $34,060.78. Right now, police say they can prove Byrd used the victim’s debit card 168 times. The arrest report says those transactions for $10,530.48 were for car payments, utility payments, cell phone payments, jail cell payments to her boyfriend, payment for her boyfriend’s traffic citation, restaurant bills and online shopping.
Police say Byrd also stole the woman’s debit card and fraudulently transferred $4,200 from the victims saving account to a checking account. In addition to using the victim’s credit and debit cards, arrest reports say Byrd also used her social security number, ID and checks.
Byrd is facing four charges including the exploitation of elderly or disabled adult, fraud use of personal ID info and fraudulent creation of personal ID.
Police say Byrd is currently employed by Always Dependable Inc. Home Health Care, a St. Petersburg company that provides home health care and nurses.
Byrd is currently being held on a $70,000 bond. She is sent to appear before a judge Friday afternoon.
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