Elderly couple lose thousands worth of jewelry in assisted living facility burglary


AUSTIN (KXAN) — An elderly couple hopes surveillance photos from their senior living community will lead to the arrest of the person who broke into their home and took some of their most precious valuables.

Ron and Pauline Estes live at Buckner Villas in Austin, where, on Easter weekend, a burglar took Ron’s key fob, snuck past security cameras and into their apartment. Ron said:

“I feel like I’ve been violated. It was just bold. Bold.”

The couple lost jewelry collected over 50 years togther, including irreplacable family heirlooms.

“Just the audacity to come down the hall during the middle of the day. It’s just hard to understand,” Estes said. 

While security caught a glimpse of the suspect on camera, it’s only a glimpse: he’s young with bleached blond hair.

Management says there are locks on every door and cameras in place to keep residents safe.

“Each entry door into the community is locked magnetically, so you need a key fob to get entrance,” said Paul Clark, Buckner Villas’ director of marketing and sales.

Management plans to use the incident as an opportunity to remind residents to keep valuables close and keep an eye out for suspicious activity. 

But the Estes family just hopes it can recover 58 years worth of memories.

Management said that although unfortunate, this burglary proves the security measures in place are effective. It’s only when people forget to keep their keys close that something like this can happen.

They wanted to remind residents that the cameras are rolling 24/7 and a private security company circles the grounds at night.

The National Council on Aging estimates 10 percent of adults 60 and older experienced some sort of abuse in the past year. The annual loss by elder victims of financial abuse is estimated to be at least $36.5 billion.

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