Candace Janet Ballard, 31, and Jayne Cherelle Phillips, 23, were arrested Tuesday on three burglary counts and two credit card fraud counts each, Cobb Police said.
All of the charges are felonies.
Police said investigators received a report of a theft at the Heritage at Brookstone assisted living facility, 5235 Stilesboro Road in Acworth. The investigation led police to find that the suspects allegedly targeted assisted living facilities while acting as though they were attempting to find placement for an elderly relative. Police said that during or after taking tours of the facilities, one of the suspects would enter private living quarters while residents were away and take valuable items including jewelry, personal identification with credit cards and computer equipment.
Police said they found purchases made on stolen credit cards in Cobb, Cherokee and Fulton counties, and Cobb Police Sgt. Craig Dong, whose west Cobb unit investigated the assisted living thefts, said the suspects sold stolen items to pawn shops and precious metal dealers.
Cobb Police is working with Cherokee and Fulton officials on the assisted living case because they believe Ballard and Phillips may have burglarized assisted living facilities there, Pierce said. They are also trying to identify other victims so they can return jewelry recovered at the suspects’ residences.
Pierce, whose own father is in an assisted living facility, advises people who have family members in assisted living to keep an inventory of their loved one’s belongings. He also said keeping the door to their room locked is a good idea unless it needs to stay open for medical reasons.
“If that person doesn’t want to wear that piece of jewelry or they don’t use that credit card, than why let them have it?” he said.
The suspects remained in the Cobb County Adult Detention Center Friday afternoon, each with bonds totaling $16,720.
Anyone with information on the incidents is asked to call the Cobb Police Criminal Investigations Unit at (770) 499-4185.