Carer of elderly couple caught stealing by camera hidden in pen
A carer was caught stealing thousands of pounds from an elderly woman and her husband - after their worried son turned detective and hid a surveillance camera in a pen.
Lisa Mitchell worked as a carer for 81-year-old Sheila Read, who had dementia, when she helped herself to cash totalling £35,000 over four years from their home in Dereham, Norfolk.
But her crime was uncovered when the woman's son, Allan, noticed money going missing, Norfolk Police said.
He set up a CCTV camera in a pen strategically placed in an office inside the house.
Mitchell was filmed on two occasions in the office which she had no reason to enter.
She was pictured going through the bureau and the elderly man's wallet.
Mr Read, who ran the family business with his father, had made a note of serial numbers on the bank notes which police then used along with the images to prove the offence.
Mitchell, 38, of Masefield Mews, Dereham, pleaded guilty to theft and was jailed for 18 months at Norwich Crown Court today, the force said.
Detective Constable Gemma Weeks said: "Over four years Lisa Mitchell took advantage of an elderly couple whom she was trusted to care for.
"She thought nothing of helping herself to their personal money and cash from their family business, which she spent on jewellery and designer handbags.
"Even when presented with CCTV evidence, Mitchell denied stealing from this vulnerable couple, and could not account for living beyond her means.
"Over and above the financial impact of her crime is the emotional one, particularly when it appeared that Mitchell was searching for money instead of caring for the elderly lady."