Woman accused of stealing $100,000, car from elderly man with Alzheimers
61-year-old San Luis Obispo suspect has been using alias Sapphire Grace for the past 20 years
–On May 5, 2016, The San Luis Obispo Police Department was contacted by the out of state family of a male victim. The victim in this case was residing in San Luis Obispo but has recently been moved out of state to be closer to family after an Alzheimer diagnosis and deteriorating health. The family contacted law enforcement after they began seeing amounts of money being withdrawn from the victim’s accounts which were not authorized. The family also reported the victim’s car had been taken and the current location of the vehicle was unknown.
Sapphire Grace was identified by the family as the person likely responsible for the thefts. An investigation lasting two months identified the true identity of Sapphire Grace as Candice Kato. Kato has been using the alias of Sapphire Grace for the past 20 years. An investigation from the San Luis Obispo Police Department led to the discovery of approximately $100,000 in fraudulently obtained money from the victim’s accounts.
An operation conducted in May identified Kato as she was attempting to cash a forged check belonging to the victim. The operation also led to the recovery of the victim’s stolen vehicle which was being driven by Kato. Kato was taken into custody for being in possession of a stolen vehicle, trying to pass forged checks, burglary and being in possession of a fraudulent California driver’s license in the name of Sapphire Grace. Additional counts of elder abuse and identity theft are being sought against Kato. Kato was booked at the San Luis Obispo County Jail with bail set at $250,000.
The Police Department believes this is not the first time Kato has victimized elderly acquaintances. Investigators are actively looking for others who may have been victimized by Kato and we believe her victims are probably not aware she has victimized them.
If you have any information about this crime you are encouraged to call the San Luis Obispo Police Department and speak with Detective L’Heureux at (805) 594-8038 or Crime Stoppers at (805) 549-STOP.