The folks we trust to take care of our loved ones aren’t always trustworthy.
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. —
A Seminole County caretaker admitted that he staged a break-in to steal from his client in a wheelchair, said authorities.
Deputies said Lewis Klaiber went so far as to call 911 in a panic and help the 83-year-old man load his gun for protection Monday.
The victim said his caretaker’s hoax had him fooled.
The client said he was sleeping at home when Klaiber barged into his room in hysterics and told him someone had broken in.
At first glance, Seminole County sheriff’s deputies thought they had all the signs of a residential break-in: a broken window, ransacked office, almost $1,000 in missing cash and a dramatic 911 call.
"I’m hearing tussling. I’m not sure. I don’t know. I’m scared right now. Can you please get here? Please?" Klaiber said in a 911 call.
The frantic call came in overnight from Klaiber, who was looking after the disabled man inside a Heathrow home when he said he heard the window shatter.
Deputies said they used a sheriff’s helicopter and a K-9 unit to search for a possible culprit.
"When they arrived on scene, they immediately knew something just didn’t add up," said Heather Smith of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.
The glass was broken from the inside, the outside bushes weren’t touched and their K-9 didn’t pick up any new scents.
That’s when deputies turned their focus to the caregiver.
"He admitted to us that he had made the calls and that he had set the stage for it look like a burglary," Smith said.
Klaiber was arrested.
Klaiber’s employer, Visiting Angels, released a statement Tuesday: "We at Visiting Angels are working in full cooperation with the Seminole County Sheriff’s Department regarding this incident. However, Lewis Klaiber was not working for Visiting Angels, but working for a private client. When using home care services, this is why we at Visiting Angels always recommend using care from an agency as opposed to a private caregiver, as we are both insured and bonded."
Behind his door Tuesday evening, Klaiber told WFTV he made a mistake and was sorry.
"I was trying to help my daughter and stuff," Klaiber said.
The victim told WFTV he liked Klaiber and felt betrayed.