PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - Residents at Sandhill Gardens Retirement Home in Punta Gorda save up petty cash for shopping or haircuts. But someone stole those small pleasures. “As far as how they got inside, I don't know,” Administrator Dana Gilreath said. ast tuesday, a 60 lb safe, storing about $5,000 in residents' cash and jewelry had vanished, and the alarm was disabled.
“We did find one of our roll carts that we use for newspapers in the morning on the adjacent corner of the property as well as an indentation where the safe was thrown over the fence,” Director of Operations Kristian Dunda said.
While they don't suspect it was an inside job, they're questioning past and present employees. “They put their safety and security in our hands and they felt violated by this act,” Dunda said.
Since the burglary, extra security measures have been put in place so a crime like this never happens again. “Some additional security cameras have been installed as well as some different systems with our staff to be doing more frequent checks throughout the night, and we've installed a new safe that is concreted to the floor, tapcon to the floor, as well as additional locks and motion sensors in the safe area,” Dunda said.
Rose Quintana enjoys the friends she's made there, and wonders why anyone would want to steal from them. “Oh, that's terrible,” Quintana said. “After all, we're all older people here, and not all of us are out of it so to speak.”
The Retirement Home has since reimbursed residents for everything that was stolen from the safe.