Crystal Villaforte, 19, was charged with theft of property and booked into the Metro jail.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
Metro police arrested the caregiver of an elderly woman for allegedly stealing jewelry from the 86-year-old woman.
According to the police affidavit, Crystal Villaforte stole four rings from the Hannah Bird, including her diamond wedding ring given to her by her husband more than 50 years ago, before pawning two of them at Household Pawn on Charlotte Pike in early April.
Until recently, Bird lived at Park Manor, an independent living facility located on Woodmont Boulevard off Harding Pike, west of Nashville.
Officers began their investigation after Bird noticed the rings were missing and called police.
Bird told Nashville's News 2 Investigates that she did not know Villaforte, who was employed at the home earlier this year.
"I'm pretty upset," Bird said. "I trusted the people at Park Manor."
Nashville's News 2 Investigates spoke to Park Manor's Executive Director Andrew Sandler about the incident by phone.
"It is despicable when people steal from the elderly. We take this very seriously. They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. It is important to protect people who can't take care of themselves," he said.
According to Sandler, all of his employees undergo an extensive background check however Villaforte never underwent one through the facility since she was brought in through a temporary agency.
Nashville's News 2 Investigates reached out to the agency for comment.
It is unknown whether the temporary agency performed a background check on Villaforte. Calls to them remain unreturned.
According to the Tennessee Department of Health, there is not a requirement for a criminal background check of non-nursing home personnel.
Villaforte, 19, was charged with theft of property and booked into the Metro jail on a $5,000 bond.
Police said she has a previous record that includes underage drinking, leaving the scene of an accident, theft of merchandise and drug possession.