Thousands Stolen from Elderly Woman, Caregivers Arrested
Mercedes Pettegrew and Julie Aguilar
SAN BERNARDINO – Rancho Cucamonga investigators arrested two women suspected of stealing thousands of dollars from a senior citizen woman they had been caring for, according to reports.
Mercedes Abriana Pettegrew, 26, and Julie R. Aguilar, also 26, both from San Bernardino, were arrested early Thursday morning on various charges including suspicion of theft from an elderly person.
The victim, whose name was not released by investigators, discovered a $2,700 discrepancy in her checking account. After making that discovery, she continued to investigate her accounts and found more money missing.
Chris Hughes, the detective that conducted the investigation, eventually found that over $14,000 was missing from the victim’s personal accounts.
The woman was being cared for by Pettegrew and Aguilar at a residence on the 5200 block of Little Mountain Drive, located in north San Bernardino.
Detectives found evidence, including the fact that Aguilar reportedly was able to obtain the victim’s personal banking information, information that allegedly tied both suspects to the thefts.
One payment, according to reports, included a payment from the victim’s account to a student loan. After Hughes was able to located the suspects, they were arrested at 6:30 a.m.
Both Pettegrew and Aguilar were booked into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, each released on $50,000 bail.
No court appearances had been set for Pettegrew, who was taken into custody on charges of theft of more than $400 from a senior citizen, conspiracy to defraud and identity theft.
Aguilar, also released, faces the same charges. Each suspect was released from custody at 10 p.m.