A vulnerable woman with dementia is being targeted by thieves in her own home.
“How can somebody do this? How could somebody be so heartless?” Nicole Ursu said of her what happened to her grandma.
Iona, whose last name has been omitted to protect her, lives in a building run by the Regina Housing Authority near Wascana Lake.
Confused by who she was opening the door to, thinking it was Nicole, Iona instead opened the door to a stranger.
The woman convinced Iona she needed help and money and, coming from a Saskatchewan farm, Iona did what she could to help.
The stranger robbed her bank cards and thousands of dollars with repeated visits to an ATM. She came by the apartment on more than one occasion and may have targeted other vulnerable residents.
The Regina Housing Authority reacted by changing the locks and reissuing Iona her key card. Residents are also being reminded not to open the door to people they don’t know.
But Ursu said she’s concerned that doesn’t go far enough as the thief in question didn’t look threatening.
“She was just an average-looking young lady, she had a grocery bag, it isn’t necessarily someone who looks threatening or out of place from walking in and out of the building,” Ursu argued.
She would like to see the Regina Housing Authority do more to protect vulnerable residents.
“I think they need to go another step further and have some sort of cameras or someone available, at least during the day for security,” Ursu said. “A lot of residents here are at some type of disadvantage. They’re people definitely in vulnerable positions and they seem to be a target for people like this.”
Cameras and other measures are being taken by the Regina Housing Authority, although no comment would be provided in relation to specific residents.
“Over the last few months, we have been installing security cameras in all of our seniors’ buildings and two more are slated to be installed next week,” Susanne Bell said. “Having the security cameras installed will provide the city police with additional information with respect to those that are unlawfully entering the buildings.”
Iona is in the process of moving to assisted living as her dementia progresses.
Regina Police Service is investigating and believes at least two people were involved.