A caregiver who worked at senior homecare facilities in Riverside and Orange counties is facing several charges related to elder abuse, burglary and theft, the Riverside Police Department reported Tuesday.
Detectives began investigating the case in November 2020, after a woman in her 80s reported that several hundred dollars worth of jewelry was missing after being assisted by caregivers at her home in the Magnolia Center neighborhood, police said.
“Eventually, detectives assigned to the Property Crimes Unit began an investigation and developed information into the identity of a suspect, who turned out to be a caregiver employed by a senior care company based in the city of Corona,” Officer Ryan Railsback, spokesman for the Riverside Police Department, said in a news release.
The suspect was identified as Olga Romero, 39, of San Jacinto. Police say she is also a potential suspect in similar thefts being investigated in Orange County while she was working as a caregiver.
On May 6, a search warrant was served at Romero’s home in the 1700 block of Faulkner Avenue. According to Railsback, detectives located numerous stolen jewelry belonging to the “elderly victim.” They also found stolen property belonging to a senior care facility in Corona that was from a different theft investigation being conducted by the Corona Police Department.
All of the stolen property was later returned to those victims.
Romero was charged by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office with burglary, theft by caretaker of an elder, and possession of stolen property. She has also been relieved of her duties as a caretaker by her employer, police said.
“Ms. Romero was also working independently as a private caregiver through ‘Olga’s Sunshine’ in both Riverside and Orange counties, and through other senior homecare facilities,” Railsback said.
Detectives believe there may be additional victims who have yet to come forward, and are asking anyone with additional information regarding this investigation to contact Detective Edward Vazquez at 951-353-7955 or EVazquez@RiversideCA.gov.
Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can email RPDTips@RiversideCA.gov, or use the Riverside Police Department’s mobile app “Submit a Tip” feature while referencing report number 200030701.