Five people were facing financial elder abuse charges Friday for allegedly stealing over $24,000 from a 73-year-old mentally ill and alcoholic cancer patient over several months, according to the Pasadena Police Department.
The suspects were identified as Carolyn Shields, 61, of Pasadena and Los Angeles residents Billy Burton, 63; Griselda “Gracie” Patterson, 48; Adriana Patterson, 22; and Antwan Havard, 25, according to Pasadena police Lt. John Luna.
“The suspects are also suspected of attempting to steal an additional $54,000 from the same man, who is a cancer patient and suffers from mental illness and alcoholism,” Luna said. “The crew would consume alcohol with the victim until he was intoxicated before walking him into his banks and convincing tellers to remove large amounts of cash or cashier’s checks on his behalf, and using the victim’s credit card to make online purchases and rent motel rooms.”
Pasadena police Detective Victor Cass began investigating the case in March after case workers at Union Station Homeless Services filed a financial crime report, Luna said.
“Detective Cass collected evidence, including surveillance video, online purchase receipts, bank records, interviewed numerous witnesses and had notified the victim’s bank, Pasadena Federal Credit Union, 1308 S. Fair Oaks Ave. … to contact him if the suspects returned with the victim,” Luna said.
Four of the suspects — Burton, Griselda Patterson, her daughter Adriana Patterson and the younger woman’s boyfriend Antwan Havard — did just that on the morning of June 26, according to Luna, who alleged their intent was to defraud the victim of still more money.
Cass was notified and he led a team of detectives and patrol officers to the credit union, where the four suspects were arrested, two inside and two in the parking lot, Luna said.
“Detective Cass recovered more evidence and obtained confessions from all four suspects,” the lieutenant said.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed charges of elder financial abuse and grand theft against the four. On Wednesday, a search warrant was served at 235 E. Holly St., where Shields was arrested, Luna said.
“Shields also admitted to her role in the crimes and on July 12 … the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed a felony … elder abuse charge on her as well,” Luna said.
Burton and Griselda Patterson remained jailed in lieu of $70,000 and $50,000 bail, respectively, while Shields was being held in lieu of $50,000, according to Luna, who said that the younger Patterson and Havard have bonded out.
Anyone with information about the case was urged to call Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS or lacrimestoppers.org.
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