George W. Davis
A Barberton woman is a suspect in a widespread deception spree covering at least three counties, several senior citizens and some church members, police said.
Jennifer Riley, 31, who was living at Berlin’s Motel on 31st Street Northwest in Barberton, was taken into custody Thursday afternoon by a Uniontown police officer.
Riley is charged by Uniontown police with burglary, theft from the elderly, forgery and credit-card theft.
She was arranged Friday in Canton Municipal Court, where bond was set at $50,000. She was being held in the Stark County Jail.
Uniontown police Capt. David Brown said several departments in Stark, Summit and Wayne counties are looking at cases similar to the one he said Riley used in December to take $150 from an 88-year-old Uniontown man.
Brown said Riley convinced the man that she needed financial aid for her living expenses. Because he didn’t have any $10 bills, the Uniontown victim gave the suspect $160 with the admonition that she return the extra $10 the next day, which she did, Brown said.
A few days later, the victim discovered his wallet was missing and his credit card had been used to obtain $617 in goods, including gift cards that Riley sold for cash, Brown said.
Riley used the money for living expenses and to support a “serious” heroin habit, he said.
Riley is also accused of convincing members of a Springfield Township church in March to give her money for a car repair. Riley never made good on her promise to pay the cash back, police told WEWS TV-5.
In February, a senior couple from Bath Township gave Riley $100 after she convinced the man and woman that she was a relative, according to a police report.
In all, she is estimated to have taken more than $20,000 from her victims in the three counties, police told WEWS TV-5.
Brown said no charges have been lodged yet against Riley’s male companion, 29, who was with her when she was arrested at the motel.
The man was taken to a local hospital after the arresting officer found him having what appeared to be a seizure while lying on the floor of the couple’s motel room.