North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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October 31, 2013

Gardendale couple charged with stealing from 88-year-old woman

GARDENDALE — A Gardendale couple is charged with systematically stealing from an elderly woman over the course of two years.

Nora Armstrong, 29, and her husband Lee, 32, were both arrested and charged with elder abuse by financial exploitation, according to a statement by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Deputy Randy Christian said that they had been investigating the couple since August, after the victim’s niece noticed suspicious transactions on her aunt’s credit card and checking accounts, including the purchase of firearms and ammunition.

Investigators found that Nora Armstrong, who was a housekeeper and sitter for the victim, and her husband were able to gain access to the accounts and cards. Over the two-year span, the Armstrongs bought weapons, clothing, exercise equipment and food, Christian said. They also purchased cell phones, then changed the victim’s account to allow international calling; Nora Armstrong is from Honduras and still has family members there, Christian added.

Sheriff’s detectives obtained warrants for the couple on Tuesday, and arrested both this morning. Nora Armstrong was arrested at the couple’s Gardendale residence, while Lee Armstrong was taken into custody at his workplace, a Cahaba Heights pharmacy.

Each is held in the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bond.

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