May 9, 2013
An employee of an Albemarle County assisted-living community is facing charges of selling jewelry taken from residents.
According to Albemarle County Police, 51-year-old Wanda Sharell Cousins was charged with grand larceny and eight counts of selling stolen property from Rosewood Village at Hollymead.
The executive director of Rosewood Village at Hollymead says she's just as surprised and disappointed as anyone.
"We feel that the staff here, we kind of feel like one big family and the residents are part of that family," said Judi Cleary, who says
She says she can't believe one of her employees was arrested for stealing from that family since trust is such a bit part of what they do at Rosewood.
"We really rely on each other and trust each other so the fact that someone betrayed that trust it just, it hurts," Cleary said.
Cousins had worked there for the past three years until one resident asked Cleary for a private meeting.
"She told me pieces of jewelry that she felt confident were here and that she couldn't find and she knew exactly where she left it."
Police were able to match the descriptions of the lost jewelry to Cousin's sales to a pawn shop since November 2011.
"It's hard you feel like you've been betrayed and I feel like some people today they don't know how to feel," Cleary said. "They just can't believe that she did this.so we're just trying to be very open with our staff and with our residents lets talk, lets talk about how we feel and maybe people want to you know gain that sense of security again."
Cleary says the hiring process includes background and reference checks. She says she never imagined being in this position.
"We were so shocked to find that it was her."
Clearly looks forward to continue working with investigators to try to match the jewelry to their owners.