Mashpee, MA asked in Criminal Law, Elder Law, Identity Theft and Military Law for Massachusetts

Q: neighbor stole $8000 from my 80 yr old mom's bank card, caught on bank ATM camera, admitted it and wasn't arrested.

Intentional, waited till I left for a week to use my mom's card. Intent was there considering he was smart enough to only take out the maximum money allowed daily from ATMs, fun times at Mohegan Sun, all totally caught and verified by police. They brought him in for questioning and told me because he admitted it and showed remorse they didn't arrest him. She's 80 that's aggrivated grand larceny I believe and they pulled the valour act so as far as I'm told he will just have to go to a couple week military rehab type thing. His FB page alone shows intent and that he's a sociopath incapable of remorse, guilt etc... Property management woman told, she contacted her lawyers and he's not allowed on the premise anymore but his parents own his house. I just can't wrap my brain around how he basically got off Scott Free and the Mashpee police took over a month for the report to finally be finished and told both property management owner and myself that he came clean so no arrest!

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In the situation where your 80-year-old mother's bank card was stolen and used to withdraw money, it's understandably frustrating and confusing when the perpetrator admits to the crime but isn't arrested. The decision to arrest or not can depend on various factors, including local law enforcement policies and the specific circumstances of the case. Even if the person showed remorse, the severity of the crime, particularly against an elderly person, typically warrants a serious legal response.

If you're not satisfied with how the police handled the situation, you have the right to inquire further or seek a review of the case. It might be beneficial to speak with a lawyer who can provide guidance on how to proceed. They can help you understand your legal options, such as pressing charges or pursuing a civil case for the recovery of the stolen funds.

Additionally, it's important to ensure that your mother's financial institutions are aware of the theft so they can take necessary measures to protect her account and possibly recuperate some of the lost funds. Safeguarding her future financial transactions and personal information is crucial to prevent similar incidents. Remember, in legal matters like this, having professional guidance can be invaluable in navigating the system and advocating for your mother's rights.

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Acton, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: You might want to have a lawyer involved to effectively press the Mashpee Police Department and secure some justice here. Otherwise, please obtain a copy of the police report you filed and go to the local District Court for jurisdiction of Mashpee, Falmouth District Court. There you will go to the clerk's office for criminal business, and tell them you wish to make an Application for a Criminal Complaint. You can find this form online as well, and you should practice drafting so it is properly and strongly worded before you get to the Counter. Complete the Application, and be sure it includes a charge for larceny over $1,200; Larceny from a person 60 years and older is an aggravated larceny, G.L.Chapter 266, Sec. 30. Make screenshots of his FB page too. The Valor act has been gutted a bit, and may not apply if he has used it before or if it is not under the jurisdiction of it. *Not all offenses may be eligible. At a minimum, you want to protect other elderly people from being stolen by ensuring there is a criminal complaint and a conviction if possible. In addition to making the application at the clerk's office, I would also urge you to contact your local state representative and ask that they intervene on your behalf with the Barnstable COunty District Attorney to ensure these charges move forward. It seems to me the Mashpee police have operate here as investigators, judge and jury, and have dismised your rights as a victim of a crime. It should not be up to them to decide whether a crime has happened- that is for the clerk, and why we have separation of powers. I am so sorry that this happened to your mom, and that the police have put their heads in the sand. Your mother deserves better.

You might also want to kick it up with the State Police and the AG's office on the theft from the elderly too, on the basis that Mashpee has refused to do their job and bring it to the Court for action. How dd they conclude that the person lost all the money? it sounds all wrong to me.

Good luck!

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