Cops: Home health aide arrested on felony theft charges

A home health aide was arrested on felony charges Monday after police found the woman had removed a credit card from a patient’s family member while working — using it to make purchases in Riverhead since mid-December, Riverhead Town Police said.

Linda Beck, 59, of Manorville, who was working as an aide for Utopia Home Care Inc. of Riverhead, was charged with 15 counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, a felony, and 15 counts of third-degree identity theft, a misdemeanor, according to a report.

Ms. Beck made multiple unauthorized charges between Dec. 12, 2013 and Jan. 23 at locations throughout Riverhead, police said.

She was arraigned Monday, and is being held at the Suffolk County Correction Facility on $20,000 bail, authorities said.

Diane Martinez, president of Utopia Home Care Inc., said the company assisted police on the case, adding that each employee has to undergo a full background check and get fully fingerprinted before working.

“We’re just as devastated as everyone else is on this. It was terrible. She had been with us for about a year and half, and she had a clean background. She was a wonderful employee and we have no idea what happened to her,” she said.