VALPARAISO | A Michigan City couple are charged with stealing more than $100,000 from a blind Chesterton woman they had been helping care for for the past three years.
Robbin and Bary Bostic, of 425 Walker St., are accused of stealing gold, silver and platinum coins and bars, jewelry and cash.
Each is charged with a Class C felony count of theft, which carries a potential sentence of two to eight years behind bars, according to court records.
They both remained behind bars Thursday and are scheduled to appear at 10 a.m. Wednesday before Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper for an initial hearing and to request reduced bonds.
Police said they were alerted to the theft March 16 after responding to a burglary complaint at the woman's downtown-area home. The woman was living in a Michigan City hotel at the time because of a mold problem, which police later discovered to be minimal enough not to have warranted her move.
Robbin Bostic told police that when she arrived at the house that day to take care of mail and pick up diabetic test strips for the woman, they discovered the locks had been changed. After gaining entry with the help of a locksmith, she said she discovered a safe had been opened and estate paperwork and glassware were missing from elsewhere in the home.
Police said they learned another woman had gained temporary co-guardianship of the victim and had the locks changed. The guardian said she suspected the woman's savings account was being "drained" and told police Robbin Bostic's mother was the only one with a key to the safe since the Chesterton woman's husband died a few months earlier.
The owners of the White-Love Funeral Home in Chesterton said they became suspicious when Robbin Bostic told them during the wake for the woman's husband that she discovered someone attempting to gain access to the safe in question but did not call police, according to court documents. Police also were told that when Robbin Bostic later arrived at the funeral home to pick up death certificates, she said she had just purchased a new truck and a new home on several acres where they intended to live with the Chesterton woman.
Police said they learned the Bostics had rented a storage unit in their name with a check from the Chesterton woman. They also learned the Bostics had taken gold, silver and platinum coins and bars valued at more than $220,000 to sell to a jeweler, who had done business over the past 30 years with the woman's late husband.
Robbin Bostic also was reportedly found to have the woman's wedding ring sets and other jewelry, but claimed they were a gift from the woman.