Contact: Beth Stone- (508) 584-8120
BROCKTON – A woman working as a certified nurse assistant in a Lakeville skilled care facility pleaded guilty and will serve jail time for stealing cherished belongings including diamonds and wedding rings, from nine elderly patients, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz announced today.
Alisha M. Martin (DOB: 11/06/78) of New Bedford, pleaded guilty today to two counts of Receiving Stolen Property over $250. Wareham District Court Judge Therese Wright sentenced Martin to 2 ½ years in the House of Correction with one year to serve and the balance suspended for three years. Martin was additionally ordered to pay $539 in restitution, submit to regular drug and alcohol screenings and to stay away and have no contact with any of the victims in the case. The Commonwealth had recommended Martin be sentenced to 2 ½ years in the House of Correction with two years to serve.
“We are pleased that Ms. Martin will serve jail time for her violation of trust in this case,” DA Cruz said. “The families of these victims believed that Ms. Martin was administering care and medical attention, not snatching cherished mementos right off of their loved one’s hands and necks and from their bedside tables.”
On May 11, 2015, officials at the Island Terrace Nursing Home in Lakeville contacted Lakeville Police with allegations of an employee stealing from patients. Officials at the nursing home said families of multiple patients had contacted them about items missing from their family member’s rooms. The items included wedding rings with diamonds, gold and gemstone rings, gold cross chains and approximately $30 in cash.
As part of their investigation, Lakeville Police determined that Martin had access to all the victims. Police then ran the defendant’s name through the New England State Police Information Network pawn data base and found that Martin had been selling the items at a local pawn shop. The pawn shop took a time-stamped picture of Martin’s Massachusetts identification along with the stolen items she sold and also took her picture during the transactions. The date and time stamps showed that the jewelry had been sold on or shortly after the day they had been reported as stolen.
Police were able to recover most of the items stolen from the residents. Many of the victims, who ranged in age from 66 to 98-years-old, are unable to communicate and were not able to participate in court due to their physical condition and ages. Family members were present to express the deep and emotional impact the defendant’s actions had on them and their loved ones.
Criminal complaints were issued against Martin on May 12, 2015 and a warrant was issued for her arrest. Police initially took out complaints against Martin charging her with Larceny from a Person Over 65 and Receiving Stolen Property Over $250 but the Larceny charges were dismissed today due to the fact that a defendant cannot be convicted with both stealing and receiving the same property.
Martin, who had only worked for about one month at Island Terrace Nursing Home before she began stealing from patients, has since been terminated.
Assistant District Attorney David Habeeb, with assistance of Victim Witness Advocate Kelley Sylvia, prosecuting the case, which was investigated by Sergeant Sean Joyce of the Lakeville Police Department.