ELBERT COUNTY, Colo. -- A home health care provider who was supposed to be taking care of the elderly and sick in Elbert County is now accused of stealing thousands of dollars in jewelry from them and pawning it for cash.
Charity Huguley, 43, is charged in the 18th Judicial District with theft of $500 or more from an at-risk elder, giving false information to a pawnbroker as well as other theft and drug charges.
“She said she was starting her own home health care agency here in Simla,” said Bonnie Johnson, who recently hired Huguley to drive her after a surgery. “She was driving me, and I noticed she was wearing my grandmother’s diamond ring on her finger. I couldn’t believe it.”
Johnson said Huguley saw her staring at the ring and made an excuse.
“She laughed and said, ‘I saw your jewelry, and it’s so beautiful. I’d love to just steal it someday,” said Johnson. “It was so strange. And that’s when I decided to check my other jewelry.”
Johnson said that’s when she noticed her wedding ring was missing and reported it to police.
In the meantime, an elderly couple in Simla came forward accusing Huguley of stealing cash and jewelry from their home, where she worked as a caregiver.
“While we were investigating that, other complaints came in, and the nexus for it all was Charity Huguley,” said Simla Police Chief Joe Roberts, who said detectives soon found Huguley had pawned Johnson’s wedding ring and gold bracelet at an Aurora pawn shop.
Police served a search warrant on Huguley’s home Tuesday night, and sources said they found more jewelry during the search, indicating many more potential victims.
“So far, we are accusing her of stealing from two families, but I do believe it’s more than two, yes,” confirmed Roberts, who said the case feels personal. “In a small town like this, population 633, everyone knows everyone. So when you have these kind of crimes, it makes it that much even worse because it’s like stealing from your mother.”
Roberts said Huguley moved to Simla about a year ago with her husband, John Huguley, who is a town trustee.
“We have no indication whatsoever that he was involved or had knowledge of what was going on,” said Roberts.
Huguley and her husband declared bankruptcy in 2011, and she had several dismissed charges of theft in the past.
“She completely fooled me,” said Johnson, who is just relieved she got her jewelry back. “I feel violated, especially because I referred her to other people. A lot of them, I’m sure, don’t have their jewelry back. It’s sad.”
Huguley was arrested and jailed. She was in court Wednesday for the first time and is scheduled for another appearance Monday.
If you suspect you or a loved one may be a victim, call Simla Police.