Accused thief awaiting trial for swindling elderly

PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Seven months after three elderly residents were burglarized at a Puyallup retirement home, police believe they've finally found the culprit.

Two of the victims, 78-year-old Maxine Hornby and 82-year-old Margaret LaGrange, say they were sweet talked by a swindler at their retirement home.

"I thought she was a very sweet girl -- very, very nice," Hornby said of 28-year-old Fawn Bouton, who's now in jail on multiple charges of elder fraud.

"She stole from us, and that's wrong," Hornby said.

The women say Bouton gained their trust by pretending to be the granddaughter of another tenant, Robert Smith, who was in the hospital. Court documents show all of it was a ruse, and Bouton's real goal was to steal from all three of the residents.

"I was devastated," Hornby said. "I was screaming mad. I was really furious."

Hornby said Bouton somehow snatched cash and a ring right from under her nose.

Horby is angry, but LaGrange is traumatized. She said Bouton slipped into her unlocked apartment and swiped extremely important rings. One diamond is from her late mother's jewelry collection and the other from her late husband.

Police also believe Bouton cleared out Smith's apartment, swiping $10,000 in jewelry. Officers were able to track down most of the missing jewelry at a local pawn shop, but nothing will bring back the victims' sense of security.

Bouton is being held on $30,000 bail and is awaiting an April trial date.

"She's getting what she deserves," LaGrange said.