Caretaker takes advantage of client

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Fulton County resident has been charged with two counts of Theft of Property and Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card after a Fulton County Sheriff's Office investigation.

In a Circuit Court filing, Detective Deric Franks said that he was contacted on May 29 by Thomas Rinehart, who was in the South Fork Rehabilitation Center after being released from the hospital after suffering a heart attack. Franks said his caregiver, Kimberly Erickson, had entered his home and taken all of his belongings.

According to the Affidavit for Warrant for Arrest, a nurse at the rehabilitation center had taken Rinehart to his home to make sure that it was in order so that he could be released from his therapy. According to Rinehart, they found everything in his home had been removed. A neighbor told him that Kimberly Erickson had gone to Rinehart's home, saying that she was taking things to pay for Rinehart's funeral.

Upon questioning by Detective Franks, Erickson admitted taking items from Rinehart's home to sell if he died, and said that they were stored at a friend's property. Erickson said she was planning on taking his property back to him. She also admitted using his EBT card to buy food for him and was keeping it at her home until Rinehart returned home.

After being released from the rehabilitation center, Rinehart contacted Detective Franks again to say he had tried to get money out of his bank account and was refused due to insufficient funds. Bank security video showed that a person identified as Kimberly Erickson had withdrawn $300 on one occasion and $380 on a second occasion. Rinehart said that Erickson had his PIN number because she had used his debit card to get money for him when she worked to care for him in the past. He added, however, that she was not authorized to make the withdrawals that were made while he was hospitalized.

Erickson is charged with two felonies, Theft of Property-Credit Card and Theft of Property and the misdemeanor charge of Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card.

April Post

In a similar case, April Post is charged with Theft of Property after allegedly selling property of a person that she worked for.

A Circuit Court filing indicates that Post was hired in July of 2013 to clean up and salvage a house trailer owned by Regenia Ireland, and storing items in a shed on Pickren Street in Salem. This summer, Ireland discovered that a concrete storm shelter on the property that Post cleaned up was missing. An investigation concluded that, during the previous winter, Post sold the storm shelter, which did not belong to her, to an Oxford man for $400. After being questioned by Salem City Police Officer Terry Walker, Post admitted selling the storm shelter and keeping the money.

She had been charged with a felony county, Theft of Property.

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