SAN ANTONIO- It's an age old problem of scamming the elderly out of their belongings. In fact, according to San Antonio police one woman was making the rounds targeting elderly women just north of downtown and on the east side.
Police caught up with 24-year old Tawana Johnson. They were following her trail since early December and followed what they say became a pattern of allegedly stealing jewelry and pawning it.
Police first came across Tawana Johnson’s alleged first victim on December 8th. An elderly woman living in the 300 block of west Mistletoe told police she had been assaulted by a woman who stole jewelry from her home and a car. Police said the stolen jewelry was pawned.
On Christmas Eve police explained that Johnson struck again also just north of downtown at Chandler Retirement Apartments. In this case, investigators were told a woman knocked at the door and when an elderly woman opened it, a woman who was with a little girl, said the child needed to use the restroom. The elderly woman allowed the two inside and that's when the victim was beaten, and her jewelry and other belongings taken.
The circumstances were similar just days later when police said Johnson struck again on the northeast side. Once again, the bathroom story was used and jewelry taken.
News 4 WOAI’s crime specialist Gilbert de la Portia said unfortunately the elderly can be very trusting. He advises our aging community that when a stranger is at the door, you can talk to them with the door shut or through a window. He also advises if a person is in need; let them know you will get them some help by calling police and then turn around and let the authorities know about a stranger lurking. And finally he said it's OK to tell someone no that you can not open your door or assist them.
Tawana Johnson has been charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and burglary of habitation. She is also being investigated for other similar crimes.
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