Christine Ablaza | Riverside police

Caretaker charged with stealing $6K from elderly cancer patient

SHARE Caretaker charged with stealing $6K from elderly cancer patient
SHARE Caretaker charged with stealing $6K from elderly cancer patient

A caretaker has been charged with swindling a 76-year-old cancer patient out of more than $6,000.

Christine M. Ablaza, 49, worked as a caretaker for a 76-year-old Riverside woman who was undergoing cancer treatments, according to a statement from Riverside police.

The woman and her 45-year-old son noticed a series of unauthorized withdrawals from the woman’s bank account over several months, police said.

In early April, Ablaza quit, telling the woman she had to go back to the Philippines to take care of a sick or dying relative, according to police. Investigators later determined this story was false.

The victim and her son went to the Riverside Police Department on May 18 to file a complaint, police said. Bank records, surveillance footage and other evidence gathered during the investigation indicated Ablaza had made at least eight unauthorized withdrawals totaling $6,300.

Police checked several last-known addresses for Ablaza in Mount Prospect, Des Plaines, Prospect Heights and several other northwest suburbs, but were unable to locate her. An arrest warrant was issued with a $100,000 cash bond.

On July 28, investigators were contacted by an attorney for Alblaza, and she turned herself in at 9 a.m. Thursday, police said. Ablaza, of the 500 block of Quentin Road in Palatine, was charged with a felony theft.

She was expected to appear in bond court Friday in Maywood.

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