Long-term care worker stole $21,000 in jewelry during first three weeks on the job, authorities say

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A worker at a Florida continuing care retirement community stole $21,000 worth of jewelry from residents within three weeks of starting on the job, authorities have charged.

Police in St. Petersburg first received a call from a resident at the Allegro senior living community on Nov. 24, the Tampa Bay Times reported Monday. The resident said that her diamond ring had been taken off her finger while she slept. A subsequent investigation revealed numerous other recent jewelry thefts. The day before Thanksgiving, police arrested 22-year-old Keona Semone Stephens, a recently hired medical technician.

Stephens has admitted to the thefts, a police spokesman told local reporters. She also stole the gold wedding bands of a 95-year-old woman and her deceased husband, and between $8,000 and $10,000 worth of gold and diamond jewelry from a different resident, according to arrest reports cited by the Times.

In March, Stephens was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of resisting an officer, but the charge was dropped, the Times reported.

Allegro had not responded to a request for comment as of press time.