Man Charged In Elderly Theft Had 195 Charges On Criminal Record

YARMOUTH (CBS) – A career criminal with an extremely lengthy criminal record is back under arrest in Yarmouth after police say he conned an 86-year-old woman out of more than $20,000.

The victim, named Rita, says Robert Roche’s dastardly deeds drained her bank account and left her with credit card bills in the thousands.

“He did everything dastardly he could think of,” said the 86-year old woman.

The trouble began when the elderly woman, who has dementia, rented her garage apartment to Roche, an ex-con with 195 past charges on his criminal record.

“He has a sordid past. I think he saw an opportunity to prey on this woman and take advantage of her,” said Yarmouth Police Detective Russell Giammarco.

WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran reports

In exchange for the apartment, Roche had agreed to help with yard and house work.

Instead, police say he made several trips to the bank, withdrawing about $20,000 from Rita’s account.

On top of the $20,000 Roche is accused of stealing from Rita’s bank account, police say he swiped jewelry, old coins, and electronics.

He’s also accused of charging thousands of dollars on credit cards he took out in her name.

“He has no integrity and that’s too bad because he’s never going to get anywhere in life and he’s going straight to hell,” Rita added.

Police say just last week, Roche managed to convince Rita to buy a Dodge Charger for about $20,000, even though the 86-year-old can’t drive.

“He told her she deserved a classy car to ride around in,” Det. Giammarco said. “He had the keys, she didn’t. He would do bank runs and take the money out of the account, He even tried to have them put his name on the account but the bank wouldn’t allow it.”

Rita told officers that she became suspicious when Roche concocted a story that his son was involved in a serious car crash and had a leg amputated. He asked for whatever cash she had in her wallet. She gave him $200. Roche also allegedly took the woman’s car, saying he needed to drive to Maine to see his son.

Roche is charged with two counts of larceny. Rita says her nerves have been calmed by this man’s arrest.

But, the 86-year-old is irate that Roche left her with a couple of cats, a fast car sitting in park, and thousands in debt.

“I had pit bulls for 22 years and never had a problem. When you have a pitbull around you don’t have to worry,” she said.

WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran contributed to this report.


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