A Davenport woman has been accused of stealing money and jewelry from victims while working as a certified nursing assistant at a Bettendorf senior facility.

Melissa A. Smith, 33, 625 E. 15th St., Apt. 3, Davenport, was arrested Monday on 14 counts of dependent adult abuse. She was in the Scott County Jail Monday on a $15,000 bond.

Each charge of dependent adult abuse is a Class D felony that is punishable in Iowa by up to five years in prison upon conviction.

The dates of the thefts range from Aug. 6 to Nov. 8. Bettendorf police investigated 14 theft reports filed by residents living at The Fountains Senior Living Community, 3752 Thunder Ridge Road, according to Smith’s arrest affidavit.

Smith was employed by The Fountains as a certified nursing assistant to care for the elderly residents when she stole from the victims while on-duty, the affidavit states.

The total value of all stolen money and jewelry from elderly victims is approximately $9,007, the affidavit states.

Smith had been working at The Fountains a little more than a year, said Kris Ward, The Fountains Senior Living Community executive director.

The Fountains is one of 10 facilities owned by Dial Retirement Communities. Ted Lowndes, the company’s president, said Smith was suspended from her employment once she became a suspect in a theft investigation and is no longer employed at The Fountains.

Once residents started reporting missing items, the company called the Bettendorf Police Department and the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals to begin an investigation, Lowndes said.

“We were an open book,” Lowndes said. “We wanted to make sure the person was caught.”

The Department of Inspection and Appeals’ investigation determined that The Fountains “provided for our residents’ safety and rights in all areas,” Lowndes said.

All employees hired by Dial Retirement Communities undergo criminal background and abuse registry checks, Lowndes said. A background check done on Smith found no prior history of theft, he said.

“We want her fully prosecuted,” Lowndes said. “We take it very seriously.”

(16) comments




Another case of trying to exploit the elderly for their own pesonal gain. Pathetic!!!


Absolutely unconscionable. This is the very reason why my Dad will not leave his home and go to any other living arragement...and why I don't want him to! I've seen the caliber of people who work for these poor vulernable souls. Doing this to the vulernable is completely unforgivable. Lock her up for the rest of her days.


I take exception to your comments as I am one of those "caliber of people." It is unfortunate when a person has to live in a nuring home. We have had patients admitted because family members who never want their loved one in a facility try and take care of them. Some of these patients come in with sores, malnutrition, and other health problems simply because of neglect. Family members also steal from them and hold their Social Security checks and pensions, never paying for a patient's stay. However, but even based upon your need for your "Dad to never lave his home," I would not assume you would be of that "caliber."

Candy Sump
Candy Sump

People who prey on seniors should be locked away! They give the rest of the healthcare field a bad rep. I have worked with most of the people at the Fountains, although I don't know this particular CNA, the staff at The Fountains are excellent care givers. And I'm not surprised that they acted so quickly and efficiently in protecting there residents. Kudos to the caring and supportive staff members who work there everyday, they stood up to find this thief and ultimately protected the seniors they care for daily. The world needs more of them! Melissa Smith should be sent to jail for the maximum 5 years!


all the thugs work in healthcare


The sad thing is, many nursing facilities DON'T carry insurance to cover the loss or injuries to residents. I had the displeasure of dealing with several local nursing homes, due to issues with a family member. I hired an attorney, only to be told, "There is nothing we can do." Of course, you would have to have cameras installed, without their knowing, to win a case in court. Then, you won't get anything when it is founded. I am very surprised that the nursing home even turned her in. The care of our elderly in America is truly sad in many places. But, as I told one of the nurses aids where my family member was, "What goes around comes around. You will be old one day too. When you mistreat someone, it will be dealt right back to you."
Happy to know that this particular nursing facility has an "open book" policy, many don't.


Did this person actually passa background check in Iowa?


If this woman is found guilty, she will never be able to work in any health care company in any copacity in the country that accepts Medicaid or Medicare as long as they screen through OIG. Fountains followed protocol as hiring practices are strict in the nursing home environment.


Hard Labor!!


Try being the family member of one of these residents, some of whom have dementia/Alzheimer's like my family member. All of The Fountains staff that I have dealt with are excellent, caring individuals. Never met this individual and hope I never do.


I do not know how anyone could do this to the elderly.


Unbelievable, why do people prey on the weak?

Arc Angel


Roy Munson

Throw the book at this waste of space!


Very sad !

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