LADY LAKE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Police say a nurse left a trail of evidence behind, leading to accusations of fraud, including asking her boss, what would happen if someone used someone else’s credit card.
“That's the first thing that tipped us off when we found out the card was missing,” said Debbie Brazill, Owner/Administrator of Villages Rehab & Nursing Center. “We said, 'Oh well, I wonder. She's asking some strange questions.'”
Police say the nurse, Connie Perkins, stole a credit card from a heavily sedated 81-year-old patient. Then, they say she went on a shopping spree with it and even had some of her purchases delivered to her on the job.
The boss here can’t be sure how Perkins was paying for things, but remembers plenty of deliveries, from pizza to an edible arrangements bouquet.
All told, Lady Lake Police say Perkins racked up hundreds of dollars in charges, from places including Dick's Sporting Goods, RaceTrac, Rack Rooms Shoes, Hungry Howie's restaurant, Just Bats, and Walmart. Police say her supervisor identified Perkins from surveillance video at a store where she allegedly used the patient’s card.
“She's trusted to care for them and betrays their trust,” said Det. Charles Gehrsitz, from the Lady Lake Police, “steals their credit card and racks up charges on it.”
Officers say they're coming Ocala for Perkins.
“We've sent Marion County to a couple different locations in the Ocala area and wasn't able to locate her. She is engaged to an individual that lives in the Ocala area, so I believe she’s still there,” Gehrsitz said.
Lady Lake Police say Perkins had no criminal record. The rehab center's owner says she’s now having two nurses handle each patient’s belongings so they can they keep an eye on each other.