Germantown Police want to ID woman who stole 88-year-old’s identity

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GERMANTOWN, Tenn. -- Germantown Police say they want to identify a woman accused of stealing an elderly man's credit cards and committing identity theft in mid-January. As of Tuesday, they have been unable to identify her.

Valerie Hight said her 88-year-old father, Neil Smith, lives with her mother at Germantown Plantation, an assisted living home on Poplar Avenue.

Both Smith and his wife suffer from dementia.

But living in a secure assisted living home didn’t protect them from identity theft last month.

“Daddy got a phone call one day from a woman claiming to be from his credit card company. She said there was fraud on his card. They had it stopped. In order to protect him, they said they needed to come pick up his credit cards," Hight said.

She said her dad gave them his address. Before he knew it, he had a knock on his door.

"This lady had the nerve to show up at an assisted living facility, ring the doorbell, walk up to the second floor and spend 10 minutes in my parents' apartment," Hight said. "Daddy was gracious. He handed them his Visa and Discover."

Hight, who has power of attorney over her parents' financials, said she didn’t know about it until she saw the fraudulent charges on his statement. She said the crooks used the cards to spend $3,500 at stores in Wolfchase Mall, including Foot Locker and Victoria's Secret.

“These people take advantage and steal from older people who just think they’re doing the right thing, and they’re not,” Hight said.

Germantown Police said they hoped someone would recognize the woman and identify her. But they didn’t think she was acting alone.

“That’s the picture I posted on Facebook to try to see if we can figure out who this woman is to make sure she doesn’t do this to anyone else," Hight said.

Police reminded people it’s always a good idea to have a "second set of eyes" on your financial records from someone you trust. They also said the credit card companies would never ask for your card back if there's an issue so never give it away.

“He feels taken advantage of and embarrassed,” Hight said of her father.

But she knew, it could’ve been a lot worse if they had done anything else.

If you recognize the woman in the surveillance photo, call Germantown Police at 901-754-7222.

Germantown Plantation management did not return a message left for comment regarding how the suspect got in to the facility.

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