Ex-director charged with stealing from elderly

Ex-director charged with stealing from elderly

STUART, Fla. - A former executive director of a Stuart assisted-living facility has been arrested for a second time, charged with stealing from the elderly residents she is supposed to help.

Serafina Frahm was arrested Wednesday on charges of burglary and exploitation of the elderly, accused of stealing jewelry from a resident at The Pointe at Ocean Boulevard.

Stuart police say she stole seven rings from an elderly resident, which had sentimental value for the victim.

Police say the elderly woman noticed the rings were missing in February, and reported the theft to Frahm.

Police said Frahm claimed she discovered an aide stole the rings.

"Ms. Frahm came back and said she had [found] six of the seven rings, and indicated that an aide that works at the facility had stolen the rings," said Cpl. Brian Bossio with the Stuart Police Department.

Police say Frahm told the elderly woman not to worry about calling police and that the aide had been terminated.

But, police say they discovered the aide never existed.

About a month later, police say Frahm's story changed, saying that she found the rings in the woman's room, behind a dresser.

"She said she was able to come inside and find the rings in the apartment, which was a total contradiction to her first explanation,' Bossio said.

An arrest report said Frahm also forced her way into the woman's room when one ring was still missing, and after spending a brief period of time in the room, claimed she found the other ring under the woman's bed.

Those contradicting stories led to a second arrest.

Frahm's first arrest happened earlier in April after a woman reported hundreds of dollars missing.

The elderly woman's son set up a hidden camera, with the help of Martin County deputies, and captured video of what appeared to show Frahm stealing money from a wallet.

Executive staff at the facility say Frahm is only supposed to use her master key to enter residences for scheduled inspections, and she must give the resident at least 24-hour notice.

Since Frahm was hired in November of 2016, Bossio says at least 18 theft reports have been made at the facility, ranging from missing cash, jewelry and prescription drugs.

Police are investigating if Frahm is connected to any of the other thefts.

Ironically, Bossio says Frahm invited him to talk to residents about theft prevention when the theft reports were increasing.

"She explained to me there had been some thefts at the facility and she wanted me to come in and talk to the residents about securing their items and making sure they lock their doors," Bossio said. "It's pretty surprising for sure."

Executive staff sent a letter to residents letting them know they are reviewing all internal policies, including hiring procedures and access to resident apartments and private property, to prevent the possibility of future incidents.

Frahm passed all of her background checks before being hired.

She is being held at the Martin County jail on a $75,000 bond with the new charges.

Copyright 2017 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.