A former director of assisted living for an Edmond retirement facility is accused of stealing cash and a credit card from an 89-year-old patient's purse during a fire drill, authorities said.
Jennifer Kennedy Lases, 40, of Yukon, was charged Thursday in Oklahoma County District Court with exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult and second-degree burglary, court papers show.
Lases is accused of taking $600 and a credit card out of the woman's purse and then charging more than $300 worth of gift cards at an Edmond pharmacy, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The resident, police said, was unable to retrieve her purse during a fire drill and found the cash and credit cards missing when she returned to her room.
The victim's daughter notified Edmond police in September after she saw two unauthorized charges on her mother's credit card bill.
Lases was fired Wednesday from Copper Lake Estates, 1229 Lakeshore Drive, where she worked for a year as director of assisted living, a spokeswoman said Thursday.
“We're really disheartened that this would happen to one of our residents,” said Carly Ridgeway, area operations manager for Copper Lake Estates and two retirement communities in Texas.
Lases had been suspended without pay since police began investigating the theft, Ridgeway said, adding that the incident was isolated.
“It's been a shock for all of us,” she said.
Several Copper Lake employees, including Ridgeway, were interviewed by police, and identified Lases as the person seen in a pharmacy video using the victim's credit card to make two purchases on Sept. 12, according to the affidavit.
Lases denied stealing from the patient, and told detectives “I would never do something like that,” and “I don't remember.” She did, however, identify herself when detectives showed her a still photo from the video.
Lases is not in custody. She could not be reached for comment.