Police charge former security guard with stealing checks

Nyeisha Douglas

NAUGATUCK — A former security guard for an elderly housing complex was charged with dozens of felonies in connection to the alleged theft of more than $18,000 from a 94-year-old resident.

Nyeisha Douglas, 27, of New Haven, was arrested in her home city on Jan. 16 in connection to a dozen checks that were drawn on the woman’s account, which police say were fraudulently cashed.

Douglas worked at the Robert E. Hutt Congregate housing complex on Millville Avenue as a security guard, according to a police investigation by Officer James Tortora. The complex offers housing to residents who are 62 and older, as well as an around-the-clock security guard.

Bank of America, where the woman had an account, alerted her of the possible fraud with her checks, which they say were deposited between June and September. Some were in small amounts of $500, while at least one was for more than $2,100.

All of the checks were made out to Douglas, police determined.

Police learned from the company that employed Douglas that guards at the complex were given keys to all apartments that are only to be used in case of emergencies.

The woman told police that she didn’t realize her checkbook was gone until she was told about the fraud on her account. Tortora compared signatures on the cashed checks, noting the differences between those and a legit check that was cashed by the woman.

Police also found some of the checks were cashed at the same ATM in New Haven, and police obtained surveillance footage that shows Douglas cashing them.

Douglas refused to meet with Tortora, according to police. She also did not return a message left for her last week.

Douglas, who was convicted of reckless endangerment in 2011, was charged with a dozen counts of first-degree forgery, second-degree identity theft and multiple counts of larceny.

Though Douglas was brought to Waterbury Superior Court on Jan. 17 on bonds totaling $30,000 spread across a dozen arrest warrants, Judge Barry Armata released her after she promised to appear at her next court date on Jan. 31.