KULPMONT - A 24-year-old Kulpmont woman is facing 26 counts of theft and related charges for allegedly taking cash, jewelry, medication and other property from an elderly Kulpmont woman and family members during her time as a caretaker.

Kaitlyn Ann Else, of 1339 Scott St., was videoarraigned Monday afternoon by Magisterial District Judge Hugh A. Jones, Mount Carmel, and committed to Northumberland County Prison in lieu of $25,000 straight bail.

"I was under the influence of my addiction (to Percocet)," Else told police May 3, according to the criminal complaint. "I don't know why I'd done these things."

She faces 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.

Kulpmont Patrolman Patrick McAndrew, who filed the charges, reported in the 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. Else's normal working hours were 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

When Else was confronted by Nevius, she admitted to the theft and said she was going to lose her house, police said.

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 go missing, including three 75-mg fentanyl patches and an unknown amount 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 that 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.

"I have a problem with Percocet. If I don't have them, I feel sick," Else said in her first statement to the police. "I don't know who I am anymore and want to get help for my addiction."

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.

McAndrew called Shuey Jewelers in Shamokin on May 2 to inquire about the jewelry that was missing. Store owner Paul Shuey said he bought a gold ring from Else for $37.37 on April 22, according to the affidavit.

Nevius later identified her ring in the store, police said.

In a second interview on May 3, Else admitted to taking and selling the ring.

She told police she didn't know when she took the items.