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Former Assisted-Living Employee Pleads Guilty to Stealing from Residents

Jan. 14, 2014

A former assisted living employee pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing hundreds of dollars’ worth of valuables from elderly patients staying in the facility.

52-year-old Wanda Cousins pleaded guilty in Albemarle County Circuit Court to nine counts of grand larceny. Over three years, Cousins stole jewelry and other valuables from at least 25 residents of Rosewood Village at Hollymead.

Prosecutors say Cousins pawned the items, and used the money for drugs. Police were able to connect her to the crimes by matching descriptions of a resident's unique pieces of stolen jewelry to those sold by Cousins to pawn shops.

Sally Bryant believes Cousins stole her-mother-law's jewelry, including a diamond heart given to her husband on their 25th wedding anniversary.

"She was very sad that these things were missing and they were gone," Bryant said.

Bryant says the true loss isn't in the cost value of the items, but in the emotional value and the memories connected with them. Some on the victims’ families may never get to see those pieces again. For that reason Bryant came to court to make sure justice was served.

"I wanted to see Wanda and make sure she pled guilty and that something would be done," said Bryant.

The Commonwealth's Attorney said Cousins did help police locate some of the items, so they could be returned to their rightful owners

Cousins was released on bond. She will be back in court for sentencing on May 7th.

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