MOUNT CARMEL - A 24-year-old caretaker charged with stealing cash, jewelry, medications and other property from an elderly woman waived 26 criminal counts to court and posted bail.

Kaitlyn Ann Else, of 1339 Scott St., Kulpmont, waived the theft and related charges Wednesday and was ordered by Magisterial District Judge Hugh Jones to appear for plea court July 8 at Northumberland County Courthouse.

Else, who posted $10,000 bail after it was reduced by Jones from $25,000 at her hearing, is charged by Kulpmont Patrolman Patrick McAndrew with three felony counts of theft by unlawful taking, three felony counts of receiving stolen property, six misdemeanor counts of theft by unlawful taking, six misdemeanor counts of receiving stolen property, two misdemeanor counts of theft from a motor vehicle, three misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and three misdemeanor counts of possession with intent to use.

McAndrew reported in a criminal complaint that Rosemary Nevius told police April 30 that she thought Else was stealing money, medication and property from Nevius' 85-year-old mother, Teresa Groody, of Kulpmont.

Since Else started taking care of Groody Feb. 8, Nevius said she noticed items valued at more than $3,000 missing from the house. When Else was confronted by Nevius, she admitted to the theft and said she was going to lose her house, police said.

Cash, kitchen items

Nevius first noticed small amounts of money missing Feb. 22. On April 2, she found two $1,000 envelopes missing from her lockbox, where $14,740 was being stored.

She also noticed her mother was missing $2,300 in cash, a $1,900 14-karat gold engagement ring with two broken prongs, a $500 14-karat gold necklace, $300 worth of kitchen items, food from the fridge and freezers, $280 in cash from a vehicle, six silver Morgan dollars valued at $22 apiece, seven DVDs valued at $9.95 each and $15 worth of gold dollars.

Additionally, Groody's medication started to disappear, including three 75-mg fentanyl patches and an unknown number of 5-mg Oxycodone and 1-mg Ativan pills.

One of Else's duties was to give Groody her medication, Nevius told police.

Charles Nevius also told police he was missing $500 from his vehicle, police said.

When police questioned Else on May 1, McAndrew reported she admitted she has a drug problem and that she took $840 from the lockbox, $30 from the vehicles and the patches and medication from Groody.

In addition to the medication and money, she admitted taking hot dogs, sugar, coffee, a cup of soup and chicken wings from the house, police said.

Other charges

Else also waived to court charges of forgery, identity theft, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, burglary and criminal trespass filed by Kulpmont Patrolman Joshua Pastucka.

She is accused of stealing a check from her sister, Stacey Else, of 1337 Scott St., Kulpmont, forging it and cashing it for $40 at Woodforest Bank in Wal-Mart Supercenter in Coal Township on April 27.

Else was free on bail on the forgery-related charges.