Police have pressed charges on a Saco based woman who is being accused of having stolen more than $37,000 from an elderly man she was assisting. According to Staff Attorney, Elizabeth LaPierre, people don’t believe theft and robbery can happen to them when in reality, these crimes take place by the ones closest such as caregivers, close friends or family members.
What exactly went down
Susan Sajecki is the woman in question. Aged 52, Susan was helping a 78-year-old Saco man who was declared blind legally with his daily activities. The victim chose not to be identified in this case but told the News over phone that Susan had been assisting him for a few months and formed a very friendly bond with her, calling her nice.
LaPierre claims stopping elderly abuse is a community issue. The legal services divisions see a bucket load of referrals for elderly people from people in the community when observing situations of financial exploitation.
A local credit union was credited and recognized by the elderly man for noticing a slight discrepancy in the signature on his checks, which were being made out to Sajecki. The employees of the credit union soon contacted the elderly man as well as the authorities in York County.
According to officials, the cashed checks and charges exceeded $37000. The police reported Sajecki had prior minor charges of unpaid fines from a previous traffic charge of driving post suspension of license.
Sajecki confessed to the charges when interviewed by the police. She admitted to stealing the elderly man’s money and offered to make amendments. York County Police charged her with theft by unauthorized taking. She was released on bail on Tuesday.
Prevention of such incidents
LaPierre encourages all who believe they might be facing financial abuse and theft to dial their state’s Legal Services for the Elderly hotline at 1-800-750-5353. LaPierre says many elders and seniors who are victims of financial theft and abuse might feel exploited and shameful and believe they did something wrong. LaPierre empathizes with these feelings and insists such incidents can be avoided by empowering elders and ensuring them they are not alone and it is not their fault. The state and its legal services department are always there to help their elderly communities. Those being abused can always visit the Maine Council for Elder Abuse Prevention. The site also helps describe warnings signs and ways to prevent such incidents from taking place.