Kara Marie Wilkerson, 36, of 938 Cobblestone Drive in Spring Hill is facing charges of Grand theft and Exploitation of an Elderly Person or Disabled Adult after robbing the elderly woman she was entrusted to care for and protect.

Wilkerson was hired as a trusted caregiver to care for Megan Laird’s mom, Helen Flader. While Laird trusted Wilkerson to care for her Mom and the family dog, Wilkerson allegedly abused that trust and stole approximately $2500 worth of Flader’s jewelry.

According to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, Laird reported the theft of approximately seventeen bracelets and one necklace stolen from her residence, located at 7254 Big Bend Drive in Spring Hill. The combined value of the stolen jewelry is approximately $2,500.00. The theft was reported to have occurred between August 17, 2015, and September 6, 2015.On November 20, 2015, detectives interviewed Wilkerson at her current residence in Spring Hill. During the interview, Wilkerson denied stealing any jewelry but admitted that the Flader gave her a “vintage” necklace with a “bird goddess” cameo on it.

Laird confirmed with detectives that the necklace belonged to her mother. Flader also told detectives she did not give any of her jewelry to Wilkerson. Laird insists that it was not likely her mother would have given the necklace to Wilkerson, and that Wilkerson was aware of Flader’s diminished mental capacity.

After Wilkerson was arrested yesterday, she again insisted that she did not steal any jewelry and that Flader gave her the “vintage” necklace after she expressed an interest in the necklace. Wilkerson did acknowledge that she was hired to care for Flader as she was not able to care for herself.

Wilkerson is currently free after posting $4000 bond.

In 2005, Wilkerson served two years probation for passing counterfeit bills.