PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- A Port Charlotte woman is in jail, accused of taking advantage of the senior citizens she was supposed to be taking care of.
Melissa Jean Simmons is facing 81 charges of grand theft; one charge for each pill she allegedly stole from a Port Charlotte assisted living facility, where she worked as a technician.
According to the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, Simmons's coworkers at Vick Street Manor noticed the residents' stock of hydrocodone was looking a little low, back in January.
Administrators suspended Simmons and conducted an internal investigation.
"Each of these (residents) have their own private stock (of medication) that was locked up, and when they asked for a pill, (technicians) would have to log that they asked for the pill and bring it to them," said Sgt. John Heck, Jr. With CCSO. "(Administrators) noticed that these people were asking for one or two pills, which is'nt normal for them, and they conducted their investigation. The people that were of sound mind said, 'No, I never asked for that pill. I don't know why it's logged in there like that.'"
After completing their investigation, administrators called CCSO.
Investigators have not confirmed whether Simmons was taking the pain killers, selling them, or both. Simmons has no history of theft- or narcotics-related charges on her record in Charlotte County. Deputies believe she was the only person involved in stealing pills at Vick Street Manor.
Before her arrest, Simmons sent an email to her supervisors, resigning from her job and stating that she had a better job offer.
Simmons is being held in the Charlotte County Jail on $405,000 bond. That's $5,000 for each count of grand theft.
Staff at Vick Street Manor were unable to comment on the case because of federal privacy laws.