Two Pasco County women were arrested Tuesday and charged with stealing money from the elderly, according to the Dade City Police Department.
Lillian J. Lothrop, 87, 29000 block of Johnston Road, Dade City, and Tashoni Brielle Cheatum, 30, 7500 block of Merchantville Circle, Zephyrhills, were both arrested for separate crimes against seniors.
Lothrop convinced a family friend with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia to write 15 checks to her over a six-month period for more than $34,000, according to police.
The victim in the case is 85. The crime was discovered when the man’s brother began looking into his bank account records, police said.
Lothrop, who remains in the Land O’ Lakes Jail, is charged with grand theft from a person 65 years of age or older, a second-degree felony. Bond is $15,000.
On July 31, Cheatum, a certified nursing assistant employed at the Edwinola Retirement Community, stole an ATM card from the room of a 96-year-old woman and later withdrew $300, police said.
In a separate incident on Sept. 15, Cheatum took $500 from the purse of an 86-year-old Edwinola resident as she used the restroom, according to police.
Cheatum is charged with two counts of grand theft from a person 65 years of age or older. Both charges are third-degree felonies. She remains in the Land O’ Lakes Jail.
“Crimes of this sort are particularly upsetting because the suspects prey on the most vulnerable segment of our population and it will not be tolerated,” Dade City Police Chief Ray Velboom said. “These crimes can be personally and financially devastating to the victims and their families and we will continue to aggressively pursue those responsible.”