A Morton Plant Hospital clerk stole more than $200,000 from the safe of an elderly couple and spent half of the money on lottery tickets, police say.
Wanda Bryant was held in the Pinellas County Jail on $210,000 bail Thursday, a day after Clearwater police arrested her at the hospital on charges related to exploitation of the elderly, theft from persons 65 years or older and burglary.
Police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts said a 74-year-old Clearwater man reported the theft from his home on Sunday. Detectives opened an investigation and identified Bryant as the suspect.
For the last two years, she has been a home-based caretaker for the man's 77-year-old wife. The wife has been a Morton Plant patient, and met Bryant there.
"She stayed there sometimes overnight," Watts said. "She was in the house on the weekends."
At some point, police said, Bryant found the combination to the couple's safe on a piece of paper.
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Caretaker is Accused of Stealing More Than $200,000 From Elderly Clearwater Couple"