A woman in her 40s is facing charges after allegedly stealing nearly $270,000 from the bank account of an elderly woman in her care.

RCMP launched an investigation in late April, after a 91-year-old Coquitlam woman reported the incident. She told police that her bank account had been drained of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Police accessed surveillance images from the bank's ATM, and identified a suspect with the help of the victim.

Officers believe that 49-year-old Antonette Dizon had been taking money out of the account over a period of one year. Dizon worked as a long-time caregiver for the victim and her husband.

After identifying the suspect, police executed a search warrant on a residence in Burnaby, and said they "obtained evidence to support a fraud charge" against her.

Dizon was taken into custody, and released on court-ordered conditions. The conditions include that she has restricted access to all elderly care home facilities.

She will appear again in court later this month.

"This was a person in a position of trust who saw an opportunity to benefit financially," Const. Jamie Phillipson said in an RCMP statement on Tuesday.

"This is a form of elder abuse, plain and simple."

Police issued the following tips to prevent financial elder abuse:

  • Keep financial and personal information in a safe place
  • Appoint someone you trust to have power of attorney in the event that you are ever unable to look after yourself
  • Ask for help if you think you are experiencing abuse
  • Keep a record of money you give away, and for what reason
  • Get legal advice before making major decisions involving your home or property
  • Ask someone you trust to look over contracts and paperwork before signing
  • Be cautious about opening joint bank accounts
  • Make an effort to keep in touch with family and friends, so you don't become isolated
  • Review your finances regularly, and report any irregularities to your bank