LOCKPORT – Charles Rizzo allegedly pawned his 85-year-old blind mother’s jewelry, emptied her bank account and then left her facing eviction.
Rizzo, 51, of East High Street, was charged by Lockport police Wednesday night with two felony counts of fourth-degree grand larceny. Police opened the investigation after Rizzo’s daughter came to police with her grandmother’s financial statements and said her father had been stealing from the elderly woman.
Rizzo, a prior felon from downstate, had been living with his mother in the East High Street apartment as her caretaker and had been given permission to handle transactions to pay bills.
Rizzo’s daughter told police Wednesday morning that she began investigating when she learned that her grandmother had been evicted, and that’s when she discovered the alleged thefts.
She said there were several unauthorized withdrawals made by her father, pieces of gold jewelry missing and an unknown amount of prescription medication missing.
Investigators found that Rizzo had pawned a gold necklace and two rings, valued at $2,200, and took $1,216 from the woman’s account without permission.
“The grandmother didn’t have much money, and this dried her account up into the negatives,” said Detective Lt. Scott Seekins. “Obviously her landlord didn’t know what was going on and they evicted her. A 51-year-old guy gets his mother booted.”
Seekins said the granddaughter is taking care of her grandmother now.
He said drug use by Rizzo is suspected in the case.
He said Thursday that the Victim’s Assistance Program has been called to help and work with the landlord on the case.
Because of threats of retaliation, orders of protection were issued for both the mother and granddaughter, according to police.