An Adairsville couple are both facing charges after police say they stole from their neighbor’s bank account, hid his phone from him and prevented his coworkers from checking on him, according to the Rome News-Tribune.
Investigators said Terry Alan Ward and his wife, Lisa Ward, also wired the victim’s electricity to power part of their home, the newspaper reported.
Adairsville police were called to a home on North Franklin Street on June 23 when the victim’s friends requested a wellness check, according to the News-Tribune. The victim’s name and age were not provided.
The two friends told investigators they had been the man’s coworkers and often stopped by to see him. This time, Terry Ward wouldn’t let them visit the man, the newspaper reported.
When officers arrived at the home, Ward told them the man was sick and refused to let them in, according to the newspaper. Ward told police the man’s friends weren’t able to call him because he had no phone.
An officer approached the victim, who was sitting on his front porch, the newspaper reported. The officer asked the man if his friends from work were allowed to come see him, and the victim responded that they were welcomed to, the News-Tribune said.
The victim told police someone had taken his phone and then he asked for something to drink.
The officer noticed an electrical cord running from the victim’s home to the Ward’s house and asked the man why it was there, according to the newspaper. The victim told police there had been a fire at Ward’s home and they were using his power until their circuits were fixed.
Detectives later discovered the victim had no food in his home. Investigators said the Wards had taken his phone and hidden it and were also using money from the man’s bank account.
“It was also obvious to all officers on the scene the victim needed immediate medical attention, which was immediately sought,” a police report said.
Adairsville police obtained warrants for the Wards and returned to arrest them on Friday.
Terry Ward was booked into the Bartow County Jail and later released on a $16,500 bond. He is charged with exploitation and intimidation of a disabled or elderly adult, theft by taking, neglect to a disabled or elderly adult and party to the crime of neglect.
Officers tried to arrest Lisa Ward, but she was taken to Cartersville Medical Center after complaining of chest pains, the News-Tribune reported.
Asia Simone Burns is a watchdog reporter for the AJC. Burns was formerly an intern in AJC’s newsroom and now writes about crime. She is a graduate of Samford University and has previously reported for NPR and WABE, Atlanta’s NPR member station.