Thief preys on elderly victims

By Lori Brown - bio | email |

CRITTENDEN COUNTY, AR (WMC-TV) - A woman wanted for preying on the elderly in Mississippi is now a suspect in three states.

Action News 5 spoke to an 87-year old woman Monday who is one of Cassandra Henry's many elderly victims.  She asked only be identified as 'Mildred' out of concern for her safety.

"When I turned my back and went to the refrigerator to get a Coke back in the back, that's when she got my purse," she said. "Got my billfold out of this."

Mildred said Henry went on to write $1,200 in checks using her name.  Now, Mildred has started receiving letters from collection agencies.

In an Action News 5 story last month, surveillance video aired of a woman Horn Lake Police said was using a credit card that was stolen in the same way Mildred's billfold was.

Now Mildred is getting letter after letter from bill collectors.

"The same officer that took the report from the lady watched Channel 5 News the following evening," West Memphis Assistant Chief Mike Allen said.
The story helped the detective connect the dots.

"We probably wouldn't have gotten that information had it not been for the media," Allen said.

Several days later, police say Henry struck again in West Memphis, when Richland Elementary School surveillance cameras caught her in the act after school hours.
"My daughter did tell me a lady was in my room and had asked for me," teacher Rhonda Courtney said. "I keep my purse down here and I picked it up and it was a lot lighter than it should have been."

Courtney said it was a lesson she learned the hard way.

"I have a lock for it, so I keep it locked," she said.

Investigators hoped to arrest Henry at a scheduled meeting with her probation officer Monday afternoon, but she never showed up.  She was arrested in Memphis two years ago for using a stolen credit card belonging to yet another elderly victim.