Jan 22, 2019

The Ring, Ambien, and the Pawn Shop

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KFOR reported on a story that really upset me.  It is simply outrageous.  A nursing home resident was given Ambien one night as a chemical restraint so a nurse could steal her cherished wedding ring.  Let that sink in.  It gets worse.

Her daughter, Trela Wishon, said the ring was stolen off of her mother’s hand while she was in Accel at Crystal Park skilled nursing home in November 2018. She said it happened the same night she was given an Ambien for the first time. “She doesn’t take sleeping medication to sleep, especially that, and she was knocked out,” Wishon said. “And the next day she went to eat her breakfast and noticed her wedding rings were gone off her finger.”  The ring, or rings, started as her wedding ring. As she could afford to, Wishon’s mother would add stones to it. Then on her 50th anniversary, and 60th anniversary, her mother added two new diamond studded bands and had all three fused together.  “She was so proud of that set of rings,” Wishon said, “so very proud of it.”

Wishon said Accel at Crystal Park has not and was not helpful, sluggish with their responses to requests, and only provided a list of some of  the employees. She said she’s repeatedly asked for a list of the employees working that night, surveillance video available from the halls surrounding her mother’s room, and who the home is insured with.  Why wouldn’t the nursing home want to help!?!

They never thought they would see the ring again. Then, a detective called Wishon with great news. He had located the ring at an Oklahoma City pawn shop. The 62-year-old ring, worth approximately $30,000, had been pawned for $475. However, it was the sentimental value that was truly a sickening loss.  “Right now, all I want to do is get those rings back to my mom,” Wishon said, “because she’s in the hospital right now, she’s not expected to live, and she`s so wishing she could have those rings back, and she’s not getting them yet.”

“It came in. It was out for sale for a couple of days,” said Rachelle Zellers, assistant manager at Cash America Pawn.

After seeing the ring on the news, employees at the pawn shop on Northwest 23rd immediately recognized it and called police. Oklahoma City police have seized the ring as evidence. But now, the battle to get it back is not as easy as it seems.  “The pawn shop is still wanting to maintain ownership of those rings because they forked out $475 for them,” Wishon said.

Police said the process can take a while and they do have a suspect in the case.  Felony charges were accepted against a nurse and an arrest warrant will be issued. Once the nurse is arrested or turns herself in, a court date will be set.

“On cases like this, we are required to let that go before a judge and let a judge determine who gets the property, what the financial interest in it is for both sides and how that can be worked out,” said MSgt. Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department.   In similar cases after the investigation is done, typically both parties, the original owner of the stolen property and the pawn shop, will have to go to court, even if a good Samaritan offers to pay the pawn shop the money it lost.

The woman passed away without ever seeing her ring again.  Sadly, Wishon says her mother passed away over the weekend before getting her rings back.  She’s hoping the rings will be returned before her mother is laid to rest.



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Article Categories:
Abuse and Neglect · Advocacy · Staffing

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