PLAINVILLE - A local woman accused of stealing from a woman with memory problems has been released from jail to allow her to enter a treatment program.
Michele Sweezey, 46, of 20 Pearl St., was released from custody on Wednesday following a hearing in Bristol Superior Court. She was ordered to enter an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment program in New Haven, as part of a jail re-interview referral - a pretrial release plan to get a defendant treatment - a judge granted.
Court officials said Sweezey will spend at least 30 days in treatment. If she leaves the program without permission, she must appear in court the next business day.
Sweezey was arrested in June on charges of second-degree identity theft, fraudulent use of an ATM, credit card theft, illegal use of a credit card, fifth-degree larceny and receipt of money, goods or services by illegal use of a credit card.
According to the arrest warrant, police were called to a local assisted living center on March 22 because a 65-year-old resident there - who suffers from dementia-like symptoms after suffering multiple strokes - had been a victim of a theft. The woman in February was brought from the assisted living center to a hospital in New Britain after suffering yet another stroke. While she was there, she arranged to have her friend, Sweezey, pick up her purse and some other belongings to bring to her at the hospital.
According to the warrant, Sweezey picked up the purse, which had the complainant’s checkbook, ID, wallet, $600 and other belongings in it, and never brought it to the victim.
During the investigation, the fiduciary - a law office in Bristol - assigned to the victim realized that there were multiple fraudulent purchases and withdrawals from her bank account. Police, according to the arrest warrant, contacted bank officials and local merchants and were able to tie Sweezey to two ATM withdrawals - totaling $300 - and two purchases - totaling about $54 - using the victim’s debit card.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.