By Heather Nolan
May 21, 2013
Slidell retirement home employee is facing several theft charges after police say she stole jewelry and a digital camera from residents and then sold the items to local pawn shops. Stephanie Ducre, 52, is being held in the St. Tammany Parish Jail on a $25,000 bond.
According to the Slidell Police Department, one of the retirement home's residents contacted police after she noticed several pieces of her late husband's jewelry missing from her room. Detectives eventually discovered that one of the retirement home's employees recently sold jewelry and a digital camera to local pawn shops, Detective Daniel Seuzeneau said in a news release.
After showing residents pictures of the stolen items, Seuzeneau said three additional victims came forward. The owner of the digital camera is suffering from memory loss and routinely looked at the pictures on the camera to refresh her memory, he said.
"There are special laws in place that have enhanced penalties which are used to protect our elderly citizens.," Chief Randy Smith said. "We want this to be a strong message that taking advantage of the elderly citizens in our community will not be tolerated."
Most of the stolen jewelry has been recovered, but Seuzeneau said several pieces still are missing. The missing pieces may have been melted into scrap gold and never will be recovered, he said.
Ducre was booked Friday on four counts each of exploitation of the infirm, theft by fraud and theft of assets of an aged person.
Detective Richard Walden was the lead investigator in the case.