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Moon Police Charge Woman with Defrauding Nursing Home Patient

The woman has a lengthy history of arrests for forgery.

An Ambridge woman told  investigators that she stole blank checks from an elderly patient's nursing home room and attempted to defraud him of more than $1,500. 

Caren Anne Austin, 48, was charged with forgery and two counts of theft by deception after police said she forged the man's name on two stolen checks and tried to cash them at Huntington Bank locations in Moon Township and Ambridge, according to police reports. 

Staff members at Manorcare Health Services in Ross, where the man was a resident, contacted police after discovering the checks missing. Investigators at Huntington Bank captured surveillance footage of Austin cashing the stolen checks on two separate dates in March. 

Austin told police that she stole the checks while visiting her boyfriend at Manorcare, who was roommates with the victim. She said she took three blank checks and a deposit slip from a leather checkbook in the victim's nightstand when no one was present in the nursing home room. 

Austin pleaded guilty in 2002 to multiple counts of forgery and theft by deception, and pleaded guilty again in 2010 to burglary and receiving stolen property in connection to a Moon Township incident, according to court records. 

She is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing July 10 in Coraopolis District Court.

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