ADVERTISEMENT

Theft charges for worker at Minnesota nursing home

  • Associated Press
  • May 4, 2014 - 6:31 PM

HIBBING, Minn. — A St. Louis County nursing home worker has been charged with stealing jewelry from residents, including a ring that she allegedly took from the hand of a woman who was awake.

Terri K. Stephens, of Nashwauk, was charged last week with theft and financial exploitation. She no longer works at the Guardian Angels Health & Rehabilitation Center, the Hibbing Daily Tribune reported Saturday (http://bit.ly/1rSYtXu ).

A home telephone listing for the 53-year-old Nashwauk couldn't be found Sunday, and it wasn't clear if she had a lawyer.

Prosecutors say residents at the center reported that gold jewelry had disappeared from their rooms. Police contacted a local pawn shop, which confirmed that it had bought some of the jewelry.

Stephens told investigators she had taken gold jewelry from residents and pawned it for cash, the criminal complaint alleges. She said she removed a ring from one woman's hand and replaced it with "a junk ring from her own home," the complaint said.

Guardian Angels spokesman Geoffrey Ryan said he hadn't spoken to the residents since they reclaimed their stolen items, but he surmised they were elated.

The total value of the items was estimated at more than $1,000, in part because some pieces were family heirlooms dating back nearly 100 years, the complaint said.

© 2014 Star Tribune