WOODSTOCK, Ill. (CBS) — A northwest suburban couple has been charged with stealing $140,000 from a 96-year-old man.
Rosemary Zink, 58, and her husband, Timothy Zink, 59, were arrested this past Thursday at their home in Wonder Lake, according to the McHenry County sheriff’s office. They stand charged with unlawful financial exploitation of an elderly person.
Police began investigating in July, when the elderly McHenry County man was taken to an area hospital and found out he needed a hearing aid.
When he was discharged from the hospital, the man went to the bank to get the money for the hearing aid, only to find a balance of a mere $30 in his account, the sheriff’s office said.
It turned out that someone had sucked $140,000 out of his account in the year prior.
Evidence led investigators to the Zinks, who were released on $40,000 bond and are due back in court at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock.
McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren emphasizes that elder abuse doesn’t always mean physical harm, but can also mean theft of money and other assets. Often, the offenders turn out to be complete strangers who suddenly try to ingratiate themselves to the seniors they plan to victimize, and even the seniors’ caretakers and relatives, the sheriff’s office said.
Neither the Chicago Tribune nor the Sun-Times Media Wire indicated the relationship between the elderly man and the Zinks.
Protecting the identity and property of elderly people, checking credit reports, and getting caller ID are among the measures the sheriff’s office advises to stop elder abuse.
Anyone who wishes to report elder abuse is advised to contact the Illinois Department on Aging at (866)-800-1409 or via this Web site.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.