Thieves target Henrico retirement homes

By Laura Geller - bio | email

Posted by Colby Rogers

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Police are looking for three suspects who entered several retirement facilities in Henrico posing as health care workers and took cash, debit and credit cards from residents.

Police say the crimes occurred on two separate days in February and that the suspects wore "scrub-type outfits" to blend in with workers at the facilities.

"What they would do is mostly go into unlocked apartments in these assisted living-type retirement communities," said Henrico Police Lt. Doug Perry. "They'd look through drawers, purses, wallets - anything that they could grab pretty quickly and get out of there."

Surveillance photos taken at local stores just after the crimes were committed show one woman and two men - one of whom is dressed as a woman. Authorities say they matched those photos to surveillance video from the retirement homes. 

Police say the suspects were seen driving a black newer-model Dodge Charger and a light gray or silver Chrysler Sebring. 

Westminster Canterbury was one of the communities targeted by the thieves.  Representatives declined an interview, but say they have tight security in place that they don't want to compromise by describing.

One resident who didn't want to appear on camera says they informed about what had happened. 

 "If you own or work at one of these retirement facilities, be on the lookout for people that don't belong," Perry said. "If you see somebody you don't recognize, report it to your supervisor so they can report it to the police."

The Capital Area Agency on Aging says retirement home residents should speak up if they see something unusual.

"The first thing to do is not be afraid to ask for identification of individuals who say they're there to provide a service and to check for identification such as a name badge or identification card," says Dr. Thelma Watson of the CAA.

Above all else, police stress preparation.

"Even though you're in an enclosed facility here, people are able to get into these places as we've seen from this case," Lt. Perry said. "So, keep your doors locked.  Keep your valuables locked up and hidden away so we don't have the opportunity for crime."

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

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