Washington County Detectives are searching for additional elder abuse victims following the repeated arrests of two Tualatin women.
Detectives believe that Nichole Garlitz, 43, and Kelly Dresser, 41, both of Tualatin, have been financially exploiting an 81-year-old Tualatin man since early in 2011. Detectives arrested Garlitz three different times and Dresser four different times between October and November 2013 related to this case.
Detectives believe sometime in 2011, the two women approached the victim in a Tualatin shopping center parking lot and struck up a friendship. An alert family member contacted the Sheriff's Office in April 2013 to report that they believed the women were keeping their father away from his family. A Sheriff's Deputy contacted the family and was told the two women seem to have taken over every aspect in the victim's life including his finances.
Washington County Property Crime Detectives were called to assist with this complex case and subsequent investigation. Washington County Adult Protective Services and the Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention Elder Abuse Coordinator were also brought in to assist the victim and his family. All cases involving abuse involving the older population throughout the county are assessed by the Elder Abuse Coordinator who specializes in assisting them through the many county resources available.
Over the next five months, detectives were able to obtain search warrants and collect evidence to convince them that Garlitz and Dresser had stolen over $80,000 in cash. Detectives also discovered there were family heirloom jewelry, antique furniture, and tools that can't be accounted for. The victim's family informed detectives that the large farm that had been in the family for over 100 years was in jeopardy of being lost to Garlitz and Dresser.
Nichole Garlitz is charged with multiple counts of Felony Criminal Mistreatment, Identity Theft, Felony Aggravated Theft, Violation of Release Agreement, and Possession and Distribution of Methamphetamine. She is held on $125,000 bail.
Kelly Dresser faces charges of multiple counts of Felony Criminal Mistreatment, Identity Theft, Felony Aggravated Theft, Violation of Release Agreement, and Tampering with Evidence.
Washington County Detectives and Adult Protective Services often see cases where people suffer from dementia as they age making them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Detectives ask that if citizens think they know of a possible abuse situation to please call the Sheriff's Office or their local law enforcement to report it.
The Washington County Property Crime Detectives believe there may be additional victims.
Detectives are seeking the public's help regarding this case. If you have any information, please call the Washington County Sheriff's Office at (503) 846-2500.