Melissa A. Smith

Melissa A. Smith

Contributed photo

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.”