The Edmond Sun

November 30, 2012

Police: Metro suspect defrauded Edmond woman, 89

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Oklahoma County prosecutors have filed felony charges against a retirement community employee accused of taking $600 from an 89-year-old Edmond woman, court records show.

On Wednesday, prosecutors filed felony charges of exploitation of an elderly person or a disabled adult and second-degree burglary against Jennifer Kennedy Lases, 40, of Yukon, according to court records. On Friday, a warrant for her arrest was issued and bond has been set at $7,000.

Copper Lake Estates Executive Director Caryl Ridgeway said Lases was suspended immediately after Edmond Police Detective Michael Chesley informed her about the allegation. Lases since has been fired, Ridgeway said Friday. Resident safety is a top priority for the retirement community, she said.

Ridgeway said Chesley notified her about the warrant being issued. Chesley was great to work with and she was impressed with the way he interacted with residents, Ridgeway said.

When she was questioned about the allegation, the suspect denied having ever run any errands for the victim, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed Wednesday by Chesley in Oklahoma County District Court.

On Sept. 14, the victim’s daughter filed an incident report with the Edmond Police Department on behalf of her mother, a resident at Copper Lake Estates, 1229 Lakeshore Dr., in reference to theft and fraud, according to the affidavit.

That day, the daughter noticed two charges on the victim’s credit card that she did not make, the affidavit stated. In addition to the credit card, $600 in cash was missing, according to the affidavit.

On Oct. 18, the victim’s daughter informed Chesley that two fraudulent charges — one for $160.90 and the other for $163.85 — had been made on the credit card, both on Sept. 12 at the CVS pharmacy, 1301 N. Santa Fe, according to the affidavit.

On Nov. 16, Chelsey picked up surveillance video and receipts from the pharmacy, the affidavit stated. They correspond correctly with the video for the time, date, register number and the missing credit card number, according to the affidavit.

The video shows a white female wearing a tie dye T-shirt and capri denim pants with brown shoulder-length wavy hair who appears to be about 40 years old using the card for both transactions, the affidavit stated.

When a Copper Lake Estates employee came to view the video at the Edmond Police Department, she immediately identified the suspect as Jennifer Lases, director of assisted living, the affidavit stated.

The witness said it was not common practice for an employee to run an errand for a resident, but if it did happen it was usually for something like toiletries, according to the affidavit. The items purchased on the victim’s credit card were prepaid Visa cards and a prepaid Red Box card, the affidavit stated.

The victim’s daughter said neither card had been returned and there is no way her mother would have given anyone permission to use them, especially to buy those items, the affidavit stated.

Chelsey went to Copper Lake Estates where the executive director was shown an image of the suspect walking into the pharmacy; she immediately identified the woman as Lases, according to the affidavit. The executive director said she had worked with the suspect for 10 years and recognized the pants she was wearing, the affidavit stated. | 341-2121, ext. 108