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Thieves stealing from elderly residents

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Thieves are targeting local elderly residents and at times getting away with costly, irreplaceable items.

Sergeant Brent Barbee with the Amarillo Police Department says, "The most heartbreaking thing I heard about was a ring that cost several thousand dollars that went missing from a woman... It wasn't the cost involved, it was the fact that this particular item can't be replaced. It belonged to her since before her husband passed away."

Jewelry, TVs, meds and cash are stolen from these seniors whether they're staying at their personal residence, rehabilitation setting or home care facility.

Michael Kirkpatrick is the director of nurses for Shepard's Crook Nursing Agency in Amarillo. Kirkpatrick says, "There have been cases of people stealing money straight out of the patient's purse... We've assisted them. They usually knew the person that was involved. "

She says they ask the senior's relative or friend to help keep their items safer. Kirkpatrick says, "The employees therefore go out to the patient's home, talk to them about not answering doors, not giving people money."

Amarillo police say seniors need to keep record of items' model numbers, their jewelry's weight, cut and metal type, and have very little cash accessible; This can help prove ownership.

Kirkpatrick says they also advise the elderly to store a bottle with vital information. She says, "They can store important medical records in there. When we had the wild fires out on the edge of town, they can keep this vile of life in the refrigerator. Has a current list of all their medications, who to contact for emergency. "

If they have to evacuate, they can quickly take the bottle with them.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.

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