SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

May 8, 2014

Aide admits stealing from elderly relative

Great-niece forged checks, took money and jewelry to feed drug habit

(Continued)

Wright had her friend, Szczechowicz, of 344 Essex St., Salem, sell the items she had “plundered” from the victim, Grimes said.

It’s a story often told by families of drug addicts, as Wright and Szczechowicz say they are. Items go missing, stolen and pawned or sold for quick cash to feed a habit.

During their arrests in September, police found Suboxone pills on both women. They admitted yesterday to charges stemming from that discovery, as well.

But in this case, the woman was paying Wright to help her with the tasks of day-to-day living.

According to a police report, Wright altered one check the woman had written to her, turning a $15 check into $250.

Both Wright and Szczechowicz admitted cashing stolen checks on which they had forged the woman’s signature. Wright also admitted taking an unknown amount of cash.

Police found some of the stolen jewelry at a Salem shop and recovered it for the woman. Then, a few days after the woman spoke to police, someone anonymously left a box containing some of the woman’s other missing jewelry at her door.

Both Wright and Szczechowicz agreed to pay $900 each in restitution.

Szczechowicz has been taking part in drug treatment and has returned to her mother’s home, lawyer Steve Reardon said. “She was in the throes of drug addiction” and under the influence of the older Wright, he said.

Defense lawyer Scott Masse blamed the addiction on Wright’s estranged husband and said the couple are now divorcing.

Wright is also in treatment, has been clean for months now and is working, Masse said.

Lauranzano asked what kind of job she has.

Masse told the judge that Wright is still working as a home health aide.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

 

 

 

 

 

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