An elderly West Boca woman wanted to be generous, but not that generous.
Befriended by a much younger woman with three children, the 85-year-old allowed her friend to use the pool and sleep at her house when her electricity was shut off. She did not intend for the woman to move in after she left town for the summer, steal her car, open up three credit card accounts in her name, charge thousands of dollars and use her name to obtain an iPhone and AT&T account.
Laura Maria Chalssaint, 34, of Deerfield Beach, was arrested Thursday and charged with burglary, criminal use of personal information, grand theft auto and fraudulent use of a credit card. No one answered the door at her home, located just south of Hillsboro Boulevard near Powerline Road.
The two woman became friends more than a year ago, according to an affidavit filed by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. In May, the victim, now 85, left for Michigan.
The first sign of trouble came in September, when she received a call from the Broward Sheriff's Office notifying her that her silver Pontiac G6 – which she had thought was in her garage – had been found abandoned at a Dunkin Donuts in Deerfield Beach.
Soon after that, she received a call from Chalssaint, and her caller ID revealed that Chalssaint was calling from the victim's residence, the report said. The victim immediately asked her to leave.
Upon returning from Michigan in early November, the victim quickly realized that she was facing a catastrophe. The house was a mess, the beds slept in, her things scattered around. More bad news came in the mail - a $900 towing charge, credit card bills totaling $5,731 from accounts she had never opened and an AT&T bill for an iPhone she didn't have.
The victim went to the police. She told them that she spoke with Chalssaint by phone, and that she had admitted what she had done was wrong and promised to pay her back.
A Palm Beach Sheriff's detective met with Chalssaint last month. She claimed she had been given a key to the house, which she mailed back. And she said the victim had given her permission to use the car once while she was away, the report said.
But Chalssaint admitted she took advantage of her kindness by continuing to use the car, according to the report And she admitted opening a credit card account in her name and using one of her cards to obtain the AT&T account and iPhone.
The victim disputed most of this, saying she never gave her a key or permission to use the car. She said she suspected Chalssaint watched her key in her electronic garage code, and entered the house via the garage.