An Albemarle woman is facing charges after allegedly stealing jewelry from residents at an assisted living center. Police say Wanda Sharell Cousins, 51, worked at Rosewood Village in Charlottesville and stole jewelry from people who live there - then pawned it to make quick cash.
The investigation started when a resident of Rosewood Village noticed that pieces of her jewelry disappeared.
"A resident had asked to meet with me and let me know she felt that a number her items were missing," said Judi Cleary, executive director of Rosewood Village. "And so, with her permission I called the police department and asked if I could make a report of possible theft."
The stolen items included necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, coins, and silver.
"Some was costume jewelry and some was valuable jewelry," said Cleary.
But it was signature pendants with dolphins and a tree of life that lead police to Cousins.
"That identification of that item, we were able to locate that piece of jewelry at a pawn shop and we were able to make the connection and that ultimately lead to the investigation and arrest," said Carter Johnson, public information officer for the Albemarle County Police Department.
Police arrested Cousins on May 6, and say they cracked the case because they could match photos. Investigators say she is responsible for theft of those pendants and a string of missing items since 2011.
"Hopefully we will be able to return those to the rightful owners," said Johnson.
Court documents show that Cousins was convicted of misdemeanor credit fraud in 2008 before she was hired. She was hired despite that conviction.
"We did know about the misdemeanor, because we do criminal background checks on all of our staff, and there are certain crimes that are allowable as far as people being re-employed," said Cleary.
Cousins has since been fired from Rosewood.
She is currently out on bond and will appear in in Albemarle General District Court on June 3.
Albemarle Woman Accused of Selling Stolen JewelryMore>>