Home health aid accused of exploitation, theft from Rochester woman
A Minneapolis woman who provided home health care for a Rochester woman will make her first court appearance Monday after being accused of stealing jewelry and pawning it.
Danielle Marie Johnson, 30, was charged in September in Olmsted County District Court with financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult and theft, both felonies; and pawning the property of another, a misdemeanor.
The alleged victim, a quadriplegic, suffers from lung disease and mental health issues, according to court documents.
The woman reported the theft in June, when she told police she had last seen the jewelry in May. The woman said in March that she got out of the shower and saw Johnson standing near an open drawer where her jewelry was kept, according to the criminal complaint.
The investigator spoke with Johnson's employer, who said he'd contacted Johnson to discuss the missing jewelry. She didn't show up at their meeting, hadn't gone to any other clients' homes and had not returned his phone calls, the report says.
When an officer ran Johnson's name through the pawn system to see if she'd recently pawned anything, it revealed she'd pawned three items in April at Pawn America in Rochester, according to the complaint.
The woman recognized photos from the pawn shop of both Johnson and the items, the report says, and said she'd not given Johnson permission to take the jewelry, which was valued at $5,640.
The signatures from the pawn shop and Johnson's drivers license also matched, the complaint says.
If convicted, the felonies are each punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both.