Home Health Aid Accused of Stealing from Elderly Client

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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio -- A home health aid is accused of raiding the checking account of a 90-year-old Cleveland Heights client for whom she was hired to care.

"If this lady had actually asked me I could have loaned her the money," said Josephine Simon.  "Or if she was really desperate I could have given her a couple hundred dollars."

Simon told Fox 8’s Lorrie Taylor she just assumed Shanika Chandler, 36, of Parmelee Avenue in Cleveland must have been desperate for cash.  Some of the electronic withdrawals investigators say she made from Simon’s account over an eight month period were for as little as $9.95.

“It caused me to have overdraft too on the checking account a couple of times because they took the money out," she said.

The Cleveland Heights woman said she doesn't know how Chandler allegedly obtained her account numbers but she has a hunch.

“I didn't used to shred my checks and things and that's how she could have got it," she said.  “Or she could have heard me using the telephone.”   

Chandler didn’t appear to be home when Taylor went knocking with the intent of asking about the theft charge.

Cleveland Heights Chief Jeff Robertson said the Cleveland woman stole more than $300 from her elderly client, which might not sound like a lot of money, but the Chief told Taylor that's not the point.

"When you go online and use someone's identity to pay your bills and the person's an elderly person, that's going to up the seriousness of the crime," said the Chief.

Chandler had not been arrested as of Thursday night; she was indicted by a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury on Wednesday.

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