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March 16, 2012

Prosecutors Set Up Task Force To Fight Elder Abuse (OHIO, USA)

Crimes Against Elderly On Rise, Authorities Say
March 13, 2012
HAMILTON, Ohio

An empty lot is all that remains of 70-year-old Clarence Collinsworth's home.
The Middletown man was killed in a March 2007 fire set by his grandson, Adam Collinsworth, who is serving a life sentence for murder.
Just a few months before, an 80-year-old Fairfield man was locked in a storage unit by his grandson, Joseph Feltner, and beaten to death.
"He gave Joey everything," said Charlotte Miller, the daughter of victim Douglas Smith Jr. "He was that grandson he adored, and he took advantage of it. It was just awful."
Miller said her father didn't feel comfortable asking for help as his grandson demanded more and more money, so she said her family wasn't aware of how serious the problem had grown.
"If he had just told one person outside of the family, I don't believe this would've happened," Miller said.
Prosecutors said elder abuse is on the rise in Butler County, so they've created a task force to help victims speak up.
The crimes aren't always violent, said Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser, but they're still disturbing.
Gmoser said relatives can take steps to help protect their loved ones from becoming a target.
"Protect their identity, know where their Social Security numbers are and what documents those numbers are on, inform them they may get unsolicited calls telling them they have won some prize, some lottery, some benefit," he said.
To report scams against the elderly in Butler County, call the hotline set up by prosecutors at 1-888-662-3973.

SOURCE:      WLWT
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