DAUPHIN COUNTY — A Harrisburg couple is accused of stealing more than $150,000 from an elderly family member.
Chester “Rob” Garman III, 54, and Kathy Alice Garman, 62, have been charged with theft and access device fraud in connection with the alleged theft from Rob’s 86-year-old father, Chester Jr.
It’s alleged that the theft began in 2013, when the couple sold Chester Jr.’s York Haven mobile home for $7,000 and forced him to move in with them, the criminal complaint says. That same year, Kathy allegedly made Chester Jr. sign forms to give her access to his bank account and obtain a bank card. The criminal complaint notes that Chester only had a savings account with the credit union and never had a bank card with that specific account.
“Rob and Kathy began a literal shopping spree as soon as they had access to the account and access to Chester’s Discover credit card including purchases made at JCPenny, Chili’s restaurant, Karns grocery store, Wine and Spirits, Nissan car payment, Rutters, Suez, Kohls, Amazon online purchases, firearm purchases, reloading equipment and numerous other purchases made a various stores and restaurants on a regular basis,” the detective wrote in the criminal complaint.
During that time, Chester Jr. complained about the money situation to his daughter, Karen Goodreau. He said that Rob and Kathy took his bank card and Discover card from him and he could not access the cards or money at all, the criminal complaint alleges.
Chester Jr. added that he was unable to use his computer anymore when he moved in with Rob and Kathy.
“Chester said they told him that his room could not get wifi, yet the rest of the home had a wifi connection,” the criminal complaint stated.
In 2016, Rob and Kathy moved Chester Jr. out of their house and put him in an assisted living home. There, Chester Jr. had no access to his cards — Rob allegedly said that his cards were locked away in a safe and no one was using it.
Though, during a party at Rob’s house, Chester Jr. saw the bank card in a basket and took it.
“Karen said he [Chester] would buy milk, shaving cream, tissues and other daily necessities usual,” the detective wrote.
Rob eventually took the card back, the criminal complaint alleges, and refused to return them to him.
The criminal complaint notes that Chester Jr.’s bank accounts and his Discover credit card account were in perfect order. Only one withdraw was made from Chester’s credit union account in 2012 — $10,675 to remodel his porch in memory of his wife who passed away — and according to the criminal complaint, Chester Jr. would always paid his Discover card balance off within the following month.
During the time of the alleged theft, Rob and Kathy spent $153,168.83 of Chester Jr.’s money, which included two of his bank accounts and a Discover credit card, the criminal complaint says.
Currently, Chester Jr. still owes $11,528.77 on his Discover credit card as a result of the spending allegedly done by Rob and Kathy.
Unsecured bail was set at $50,000 for Rob and Kathy. A hearing date has been scheduled for October 31.