Alexa captures man stealing from elderly resident at Ormond Beach nursing home, police say

Suspect could have other victims

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – Ormond Beach police say an Amazon Alexa device captured a man breaking into an elderly resident’s room at an assisted living facility and now, they’re trying to determine if there are more victims.

Police said the victim was in a room at Brookdale Assisted Living Facility on Dec. 22 when the smart device captured the man in the room stealing his or her cash and credit cards and alerted a family member.

“This gentleman was going through the wallet and he unplugged the Alexa device after he figured out he was being recorded," the victim’s grandson Tim said.

Tim went to the facility and found the man, later identified as Russell Bannister, still in the victim’s room, according to a news release. Bannister ran away but was quickly taken into custody, records show.

Police said that as they were investigating, they identified Bannister as a suspect in other burglaries at assisted living facilities in Ormond Beach.

“It is believed that Bannister has done this in other areas of the county and we are asking that family members please reach out to any loved ones who are staying in assisted living facilities in the area to ensure they have not been victimized by Bannister,” authorities wrote in a news release.

All three victims who have been identified thus far are 90 years of age or older.

Anyone who thinks their loved one might have been victimized is asked to call Sgt. Tom Larsen at 386-676-3520 or email tom.larsen@ormondbeach.org.

A Brookdale Assisted Living Facility spokesperson released a statement about the incident Thursday afternoon.

“First and foremost, the safety and wellbeing of our residents is primary priority and we are grateful that police responded to the situation and assisted us in handling this unusual incident. It’s important to note, that in response to the situation, associates have been re-trained on the Visitor/Guest policy. We will continue to make decisions about this situation, keeping our residents as a top priority. We appreciate law enforcement’s response to the situation and we will refer to officials for details about their findings as we continue to cooperate with them as needed,” the statement read.

About the Author: