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updated: 5/9/2013 5:49 PM

Home health worker charged with Elk Grove Village theft

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A 25-year-old former home health care worker faces charges of theft after authorities accused him of taking jewelry from an Elk Grove Village couple.

Matthew Pedrosa, of the 2900 block of Harding Avenue in Chicago, appeared in court Thursday where Cook County Judge Jill Cerone Marisie set his bond at $40,000.

On April 19, the day after her husband died, a woman contacted Elk Grove Village police to report missing jewelry, said Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Moe Ahmad. The woman told authorities she suspected the couple's home health care worker, who at the time worked for Home Instead Senior Care in Elk Grove Village, Ahmad said.

Through their investigation, police learned that on April 16, the defendant sold jewelry to a Norridge cash-for-gold shop that the woman identified as hers, Ahmad said.

Pedrosa began working for the agency on April 6, 2012, after passing a screening process that included criminal background and driving record checks, personal and professional reference checks, a drug test and fingerprinting, Home Instead owner Kelly Hutchison wrote in an email.

Pedrosa was fired immediately after the client notified the agency about the possible theft, Hutchison said.

"The safety and security of seniors is my top priority," he said in the email. "Since the initial report, I have been in regular communication with the client's family and the Elk Grove Police Department to assist them and cooperate fully to ensure the matter is resolved."

Pedrosa has no felony background, Ahmad said. If convicted of the class 3 felony, Pedrosa could face two to five years in prison. Probation is also available.

He next appears in court on May 22.

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