SUGAR LAND, Texas (KTRK) -- Edythe Young, 79, lives at Atria Senior Living facility, but the last few weeks have not been a peaceful retirement after she discovered thousands of dollars were stolen from her room.
"My door was closed and locked. I was in the hospital," she said.
Young discovered someone entered her room by using a key, and took her property including a large coin bank with thousands of dollars in cash inside.
"We had it over 40 years. Filled it up with gold coins, silver dollars and dollar bills, hundred dollar bills," Young said.
It was the money she and her late husband were saving to leave their children. She said an iPod her grandchildren got her and filled with her favorite songs from her younger years was stolen as well.
Other residents reported similar thefts.
Edythe's daughter, Kim Harmon, said she's outraged that the facility's management didn't share that information sooner.
"They didn't contact the family members and let them know what was going on until three months later," Harmon said. "We could have protected our loved ones from being victimized, but we weren't contacted."
An employee was arrested this week in connection with the theft, according to Sugar Land police. However, Young's family still wants to get the word out saying others could be victims and might not know it.
While an ABC13 news crew spoke to the family in Edythe's apartment, there was a knock at the door. Facility management called police asking them to remove Harmon and the news crew. No reason was given.
"I'm not going to leave her here. I'm afraid now they're going to retaliate against her. If they have me removed, I'll take her with me. I'm not leaving her here," Harmon said.
Young is now staying with her daughter.
Atria representatives issued a statement regarding he theft cases Friday evening saying:
"While we were disappointed to discover that the person accused of the recent thefts at our community was one of our employees, we are relieved the matter appears to be coming to a close. This individual is no longer employed by our community or company, and much of the missing property has been returned to its owners. Throughout this process, we have attempted to communicate openly with our residents and families, always keeping their security, well-being and peace of mind as our top priorities."
When asked about why the police were called without warning or explanation, they added the following statement:
"Our policy is to allow interviews to occur outside our community in order to protect the privacy of all residents. We are also always looking out for our residents' peace of mind. Peace within the community is necessary to allow proper healing after an upsetting incident. We have been in close communication with our local police department throughout the day and, in doing so, asked for their assistance maintaining a peaceful environment. We have been focused on helping the police bring this matter to a close while creating stability and security for our residents. All of our policies and decisions are made with the best interests of our residents in mind."
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Senior living center employee arrested for stealing from elderly residents