OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A metro woman was arrested Tuesday night after she allegedly stole and pawned the wedding ring belonging to the wife of the elderly man she was tasked to care for.
Vinia Foster Duncan, AKA Vinia Monique Buckley, was arrested on complaint of financial exploitation by caretaker, fugitive from justice, grand larceny from a house and making a false declaration of ownership to a pawnbroker.
She was hired by the victim to care for her husband in October 2020 off of Care.com.
By December, the victim’s wedding ring of over 50 years, estimated to be worth $10,000, had vanished from her room.
“They confronted her, she denied having any role in the ring going missing,” said Oklahoma City Police MSgt. Gary Knight.
The ring’s owner was not convinced. She took matters into her own hands, becoming a detective of sorts, and found out that Duncan allegedly pawned the ring at a pawn shop in Northwest Oklahoma City.
Duncan is accused of receiving $250 for the ring.
According to police, the victim also learned that Duncan is wanted in Illinois for aggravated identity theft, something Care.com’s background check may have missed.
The website claims to complete a background check that includes a Social Security number trace, a multi-jurisdictional criminal database search and federal and county criminal records search.
A spokesperson for Care.com told KFOR in a statement, “Care.com learned of this troubling incident today and we deeply regret that this family was put through this experience. We are currently looking into this individual’s use of our platform. In the meantime, we are willing to assist law enforcement in any way we can if asked to do so. The safety of our community is and will remain a top priority.“
“There are many, many caretakers in this world that do a wonderful job for people who are fine upstanding human beings,” MSgt. Knight said, “but just like any line of work, there are some people who get into that line of work that shouldn’t be in it.”
Police said that in cases like this one, anyone with financial interest in the ring has some claim to it, so a judge will make a determination as to what will happen with it. In many similar cases, if convicted, the defendant will make a restitution to the pawn shop.
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