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WESTERLY — A Canal Street resident who worked as a certified nursing assistant has been charged with the theft of more than $2,000 from an 88-year-old woman in September and October.

Westerly police said the nursing assistant, Jamie L. Marchione, 37, was arrested Tuesday afternoon after a police operation that included  surveillance cameras and bills that had been photocopied to catch her in the act. She was charged with five counts of larceny under $1,500 and released on bond pending arraignment in Fourth Division District Court.

As of Thursday, court information on the case was not available through the Rhode Island judicial website.

"We took a complaint on Sunday from an 88-year-old woman who was sure that the CNA working with her had taken money from her purse," said Police Chief Shawn Lacey. "She told us that it had happened several times, and each time she noticed the money missing shortly after the CNA left."

In all, the police said $2,111 had been stolen. The woman told police that $480 and $800 were taken in September, and another $800 and $31 in October, but she did not report the thefts until Oct. 27.

Lacey said officers were concerned that the evidence was limited and were hesitant about approaching Marchione, concerned that it would tip her off. The department instead chose to set up surveillance for the next time Marchione was scheduled to work.

According to a police report, officers copied an assortment of bills with their serial numbers, $120 in all, and put them in the elderly woman's purse. The purse was placed on a chair in a bedroom area that was supposed to be off-limits to Marchione.

During the course of the workday, video from a closed-circuit camera system recorded Marchione entering the room and taking money from the purse, leaving behind a single $20 bill.

After the police confirmed the theft, an officer awaiting instructions pulled Marchione over as she was driving away from the home, and the stolen bills were found in her possession. Lacey said she broke down at that point and admitted that she had taken money on several occasions.

"She was taken into custody and gave us a statement taking responsibility for the prior thefts," Lacey said. "At this point, the charges account for everything that was reported missing and the case has wrapped up."

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