Woman Charged with Stealing Thousands of Dollars from Grandmother
POTTSVILLE — A woman in Schuylkill County is accused of stealing more than $11,000 in social security benefits from her 99-year-old grandmother, who is diagnosed with dementia.
The state Attorney General’s office believes Kelly McAlonis, 41, of Pottsville personally drove her grandmother from the nursing home to her bank to make $1,000 withdrawals from November 2013 to June 2014.
Investigators say that grandmother has dementia and lives at a nursing home.
For many in Pottsville, this crime hits a personal note.
“We have a family member that has dementia and I just couldn’t imagine. Your heart breaks to do something like that to them. You go out of your way to help with all that you can, let alone to steal from them. I could never do that,” said Cindy McGrath of Pottsville.
Court papers show authorities were alerted to the crime in June 2014 when the nursing home contacted county services saying it received no payments for the elderly woman’s care since her admittance in November the year before.
Investigators say during that time frame, McAlonis had driven her grandmother several times to a bank to get her to make withdrawals from her social security account under the guise the money would go to paying her nursing home bills.
Instead, McAlonis allegedly kept the money herself.
“My grandfather had that and I took care of him up until they had to put him in a nursing home, but never thought doing something like to your own family. That’s crazy,” said Kim Hinkle of Brockton.
McAlonis was released on $5,000 unsecured bond. No one answered at her home on West Market Street. Some people think she should be in jail.
“It’s hard to imagine somebody being able to do that. You think of your own parents, or your own grandparents. I’d have to hurt her,” said Tammy Stewart-Haffey of Pottsville.
McAlonis was arrested on February 13 and charged with theft by deception, theft by unlawful taking, and receiving stolen property.