A Foster City woman who allegedly stole from an elderly Belmont couple she was hired to care for pleaded not guilty this afternoon in San Mateo County Superior Court to five felonies and one misdemeanor. Kathleen Susan Fortune, 44, was arrested Sunday by Belmont police after the couple in their 90s reported their white 2002 Buick Regal missing, according to the Belmont Police Department.
Fortune, who was hired by the couple under one of her five alias names, has been charged with elder theft by a caretaker, one count of felony theft, theft with a prior theft, possession of stolen credit and debit cards and possession of narcotics for the methamphetamine officers found in her mouth and in her pocket, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said today.
Fortune was arrested in the 300 block of Malcolm Avenue at 12:35 p.m. Sunday, two days after the couple reported their vehicle stolen, police said. The four-door sedan with a California license plate of 4YEG426 is still missing, according to Belmont police. Fortune was appointed an attorney through the county’s private defender program this afternoon. She remains in custody in the San Mateo County Jail on $50,000 bail.
Fortune will appear in court again on April 24 at 1:30 p.m. for a superior court review conference and again on April 30 at 9 a.m. for a preliminary hearing, Wagstaffe said. According to Belmont police Chief Dan DeSmidt, Fortune may have used aliases to secure employment with other elderly people and police are trying to locate other victims.
“Often, elderly victims of this type of fraud are reluctant to come forward or may not have realized that they have been victimized,” DeSmidt said. Fortune used her sister’s name, Kimberlie Marie McKean and other aliases including Kathleen McKean, Kathleen Kean, Kathleen Sanders and Kathleen Fleiger.
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