News story leads to tip to sheriff's office.
POMPANO BEACH — A man sought since June on suspicion of financially exploiting an elderly woman was arrested Sunday after he attended church services.
Mark McKinley, 46, was taken into custody in Pompano Beach. Investigators say he was driving without a valid license.
McKinley was a friend of Vicky Keller, 85, for more than two decades. She said he had lived with her, and worshipped at the Church of Our Savior in Boynton Beach, where she is choir director. They sang in the same karaoke club.
The Broward Sheriff's Office alleges that McKinley stole Keller's credit cards and bought five flat-screen TVs at Costco without her permission. The arrest report also says jewelry and $3,000 in cash were stolen.
The Sheriff's Office was tipped to McKinley's whereabouts by someone who saw a news report about Keller.
"Somebody called it in," Broward Sheriff's Detective German Bickbau said. "They read it in the Sun Sentinel. The guy was staying in somebody else's apartment, in Oakland Park."
Late Monday afternoon, McKinley was still being held in the Broward Main Jail on $12,100 bail. He was charged with exploitation of an elderly person, grand theft, operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license and fraudulent use of credit cards, according to arrest documents.
"I'm delighted," Keller said after learning about the arrest of her former friend. She said she had relied upon him for help with transportation and her financial paperwork.
Keller, the director emeritus of Pride South Florida and a member of other gay rights groups, is a divorced mother of three, including a son who died from AIDS. She says she is most proud of helping AIDS patients get funding for expensive drug treatments.
On Tuesday, the Rising Action Theatre, where Keller is an associate producer, will host a benefit cabaret show for her to help her pay medical bills and recover financial losses.
Source: Media Partner Sun Sentinel http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/pompano-beach/fl-elder-abuse-arrest-20101115,0,576012.story
Read about the benefit at Rising Action Theater here!