Caretaker pleads not guilty to more than $43,000 in thefts from neighbor

Local News

Katherine Dreher (photo from Scott County Jail inmate records.)

A 35-year-old Eldridge caretaker has pleaded not guilty after police say she used an older neighbor’s debit card to charge more than $43,000.

Katherine Dreher, who was arrested on a warrant, faces felony charges of first-degree theft, dependent-adult abuse – exploitation over $100, and forgery.

In records filed Thursday in Scott County Court, Dreher pleaded not guilty and waived a speedy trial.

Police: Thefts date back to 2019

In an arrest affidavit, Eldridge police say Dreher wrote checks in the victim’s name dated back to 2019.

The Department of Human Services defines Dreher as the victim’s caretaker, the affidavit says. Dreher has been living in a duplex owned by the victim, with the victim as her neighbor, in Eldridge, police say.

Witnesses say they have seen Dreher with the victim’s debit card, the affidavit says.

“The victim never kept her residence secure, giving full access to the residence by the defendant,” the affidavit says. Text messages show Dreher has been inside the victim’s residence without permission, records say.

“The victim’s state-appointed conservator is still recovering charges not made by the victim,” the affidavit says.

Some online purchases were made with the victim’s debit card and packages were sent to Dreher’s address. The victim has no internet access, the affidavit says.

A pretrial conference for Dreher, who earlier was released on her own recognizance, is scheduled for Jan. 28 in Scott County Court, where a jury trial is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 14. The trial may be rescheduled at the pretrial conference, court documents say.

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