SOUTHINGTON - A Waterbury woman, accused of stealing jewelry from an elderly couple when she was working in their Southington home as a health aide, was found to be ineligible for a first-time offender program on Friday.
Veronica Gonzalez, 39, made an application for the program, called Accelerated Rehabilitation, before she was advised by court officials that she was already enrolled in the same program in another court for a separate case. State prosecutors indicated they would have opposed the program even if she was eligible.
Gonzalez pleaded not guilty to one count of second-degree larceny of a person over 60, blind or disabled person. She is due back in court on July 6.
Police allege Gonzalez stole a necklace, made of white gold, with an opal pendant attached to it, according to the arrest warrant in the case. The owner, an 84-year-old man, said he wasn't sure how much it was worth, but he estimated that it could cost as much as $5,000.
The complainant told police Gonzalez was assigned to his home through a homecare service to help him and his wife, 91, around the house. After her first day on the job, on Jan. 24, the man noticed a necklace had been taken.
A representative from the homecare company told police Gonzalez failed to show up to work in the days after the theft.
When police spoke to Gonzalez, she admitted to taking the necklace, but she initially said she believed it was only costume jewelry, the warrant said. She later admitted she believed it may have been worth something, which is why she sold the necklace to a Waterbury pawn shop, the document continued.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.