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Caregiver arrested for stealing from patients claims innocence

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Posted at 11:55 AM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 12:16:10-04

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- An in-home care worker arrested for stealing from elderly patients said she did nothing wrong.

"I just want to say I'm innocent," Tyra Latrice Smith said following her Tuesday morning arraignment at the Hanover Courthouse. "I lost my job. This is a serious situation going on with my life. It’s not a game."

The 29-year-old woman is accused of stealing from at least four people. She was charged with grand larceny, according to the Hanover Sheriff's Department.

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The larcenies were reported to the Sheriff’s Office in May, July and August 2016 while Smith worked with a home healthcare agency to assist the elderly victim at a private residence.

She was also employed at an assisted living facility where additional larcenies were reported in July and August.

An 86-year-old retired teacher said Smith took some of her most prized possessions, including a wedding ring and earrings.

"I trusted you and loved you. Loved you like you were my own daughter,” the woman said tearfully. “I treat everyone how I want to be treated and don't tell lies, because I may not remember the story I made up."

In an exclusive interview with CBS 6, Smith denied, any wrongdoing.

Tyra Latrice Smith

Tyra Latrice Smith

"I work with some of these people, I don’t even work with all of the people they’re accusing me of working with," Smith said.  "I’m sorry that whatever happened, but there’s nothing else I can do. I’m struggling. I’m going through stuff too. I'm worrying about me and my future."

Smith bonded out of Pamunkey Regional Jail.  She is due back in court October 28.

Detectives said there may be more victims.

Anyone with information about the incidents was asked to contact the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office at 804-365-6140 or the Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.

Citizens can also text Crime Stoppers at 274637 (CRIMES), using the keyword “iTip” followed by their tip. Both Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.