Tuesday October 16, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- An 89-year-old woman's former personal care attendant is accused of stealing $150 from her apartment at an assisted living community in Dalton, according to police.

Joseph Martinez, 45, of Pittsfield, showed up at the woman's door on Saturday morning at about 8:15 and told her he was there from the hospital to take a blood sample. The woman said she had just been to the hospital, and no one had told her anything about getting blood drawn.

According to Dalton Police, Martinez then asked to use the bathroom. A few minutes later, he came out and told the woman he had forgotten his "tool kit" in the car. He left and didn't come back, according to police.

Later that morning, the woman discovered that $150 in cash was missing from her purse. She called police.

Martinez was picked up by police in Pittsfield later on Saturday.

In Central Berkshire District Court on Monday, Martinez pleaded not guilty to larceny from a building. He was released on personal recognizance.

According to the police report, Martinez had previously been the personal care attendant for the woman and had been fired for stealing a laptop computer, silver and cash from her and her husband.

After his arrest, Martinez denied being at the woman's apartment on Main Street in Dalton on Saturday. He told police he hadn't even "been past North Street" in Pittsfield that day.

A witness said he saw Martinez driving toward Dalton from Pittsfield about 20 minutes before the alleged theft, according to the report.

Martinez is being represented by attorney Jerrold Trehey and is scheduled to be back in court in December for a pretrial hearing.

Judge Paul M. Vrabel also ordered Martinez to stay away from the alleged victim.