BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Police in Battle Creek are looking for a thief accused of targeting elderly people at an assisted living center.
Police say an 98-year-old woman was robbed shortly after 5:45 p.m. Monday at OakView Independent Living off North Avenue near E. Roosevelt Avenue.
“He just reached in and took it all,” Pearl Hickey said, describing the theft of her wallet and checks from her purse.
Hickey is a grandmother and great-grandmother who is quick witted but slow getting around.
“I’d like for him to be put away,” she said of the robber.
Police say that after being let in the front door by a resident, the man went around the home trying doors until he found one that was unlocked. That’s how Hickey found him standing in her room.
“I was startled,” she said. “I thought, ‘Is it someone here that I know?'”
Hickey asked the man if he worked at the building and he said he did. But she didn’t see a name tag or any other identification, so she got nervous.
“I thought if I call somebody, there is nobody here,” Hickey said. “So I thought to myself, ‘Just be calm and do what he says.'”
She says the man asked her for a drink.
“I walked to the refrigerator, picked out a bottle of water and handed it to him. He was gone,” Hickey said.
Management said that security cameras show the suspect was inside for less than 10 minutes, during which time he took Hickey’s wallet from her purse.
She is now scared to open her door for anyone.
“Shame on you,” she said to the man who stole her sense of security. “Get a job. Go to work. Get a life that is a real life, not a life of a criminal.”
Anyone with information about the thief is asked to call BCPD at 269.966.3322 or Silent Observer at 269.964.3888.