Health Care

A pinky ring pointed to a nursing assistant who stole from an elderly patient, cops say

Fresno Bee Staff Photo

A pinky ring valued at $50 by a pawnbroker, according to an arrest report, could cost a Broward certified nursing assistant her license after disciplinary action by the Florida Department of Health.

Lauderhill resident Sophia Pringle, 52, was arrested Feb. 19 on charges of dealing in stolen property, giving false ownership information when pawning an item, third-degree grand theft and exploitation of the elderly under $2,000.

Pringle pleaded not guilty to the first two charges. Prosecutors filed no information, not enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, on the third and fourth charges. She posted $5,500 bond.

This was one of two April cases in which the Florida Department of Health hit certified nursing assistants’ licenses with Emergency Restriction Orders (ERO) after accusations of stealing property. Melbourne resident Janelle Mathurine’s ERO says she stole more than $18,000 from a resident at the long-term care facility where she worked.

According to Pringle’s ERO, she worked for home healthcare service Independence Dignity and Security In-Home Care. Last fall, she was assigned to care for B.S., a Tamarac resident.

Her arrest report says that on Jan. 2, B.S. called the Broward Sheriff’s Office and told authorities $100 cash and about $5,850 in jewelry had been stolen from her home from Nov. 25 through Dec. 15. Pringle was one of four home healthcare aides that B.S. said worked in her home during that time.

A Broward sheriff’s investigator says he found Pringle had pawned some women’s jewelry at National Pawn and Jewelry, 3941 W. Broward Blvd.

“I observed that one piece of jewelry, which was a pinky ring with the letter “B” on it, covered in diamonds, was pawned on Jan. 2, 2019 for $50.00 U.S. dollars (and) matched the description that (B.S.) gave.”

Shown the jewelry Pringle pawned at National, B.S. told police the other jewelry wasn’t hers, but she knew the pinky ring was. Investigators say as soon as she got it back, she showed it fit. Pringle was soon arrested.

The ERO forbids her “from practicing in home healthcare or in any setting where she would have access to a patient’s personal belongings.”

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.