TUALATIN, Ore. – Two women were arrested for ripping off $80,000 and other valuable items from an 81-year-old man in Tualatin, and deputies think the women may have done it before.
Detectives said they believe 43-year-old Nichole Garlitz (pictured left) and 41-year-old Kelly Dresser (pictured right) of Tualatin have been financially exploiting the man since early 2011.
Authorities arrested Garlitz three times and Dresser four times between October and November of this year related to the case, said Sgt. Bob Ray with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives think the pair approached the man at a shopping center parking lot sometime in 2011 and struck up a friendship.
An alert family member called authorities in April 2013 and said the women were keeping the man away from his family and had taken over every aspect of his life, including his finances, Ray said.
Investigators from multiple agencies were called in to assist, and over the subsequent 5 months, detectives learned the duo had ripped off $80,000 in cash from the victim, Ray said. Detectives also learned family heirloom jewelry, antiques and tools were missing.
Now, a farm that had been in the family for more than 100 years was in jeopardy of being lost to Garlitz and Dresser, Ray said.
Garlitz and Dresser were booked in the Washington county Jail on multiple charges including identity theft, felony aggravated theft and felony criminal mistreatment.
Dresser has been released on bail. Garlitz is still held on $125,000 bail.
Washington County Detectives said they often see cases where people with dementia are exploited and abused.
Deputies think there may be other victims of unreported crimes committed by Dresser and Garlitz. Anyone with information was asked to call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 503-846-2500.