KANSAS CITY, Mo – A woman admitted in court Thursday to stealing from a disabled woman for whom she was a caregiver. Overland Park woman Barbara Loseke pleaded guilty to theft in Jackson County, Mo.
“She knew exactly what she was doing,” Peter Jouras said.
Jouras was impressed when he met Loseke. She sold him on her compassion for his sick mother, who due to an illness cannot speak or walk.
“She’s the perfect prey,” Jouras said.
A few weeks after Jouras hired Loseke, he says he started to notice she was wearing his mother’s clothes. Since his mother has trouble communicating, he asked her about it in code.
“I just said, ‘if you saw Barb taking things from this house, raise your head for me,’ and she raised her head immediately and raised her eyebrows. It was an emphatic yes,” he recalled.
Jouras said he fired Loseke immediately and called police. She was charged with felony theft and pleaded guilty to that charge on Thursday. Soon after, Jouras realized this wasn’t Loseke’s first rodeo.
She had served probation for previous theft charges in both Wyandotte and Johnson County, Kan.
“It’s really hard in my mind to justify leniency for yet another slap on the wrist and probation. She clearly learns nothing from it,” Jouras said.
He wants Loseke to serve time behind bars this time around, but Loseke’s attorney says more will come out in court to help her defense.
“It’s a really unusual case. There are some issues that will be disclosed at the sentencing,” attorney John Humphrey said.
Jouras says a family friend recommended Loseke, and he checked references, but now hopes families in similar circumstances will learn from his mistake.
“Do your research,” he implored.
Loseke is due back in court for sentencing in November. She faces up to seven years in prison.