San Marcos seniors say neighborhood gardener, handywoman stole identities and items from homes

Helen Weiner accused of burglary, elder theft

SAN MARCOS, Calif. - A woman is accused of stealing from seniors in a San Marcos 55-and-over community, and some told 10News they don't feel safe now that she's out on bail.

Court documents obtained by 10News show Helen Weiner was a resident and handywoman/gardener at Las Brisas Pacificas 55 Plus. According to the documents, Weiner is accused of gaining access to her neighbors' homes by doing various landscaping and repair jobs. Neighbors said she had keys to more than 25 homes.

Resident Suanne Englund said Weiner had keys to her home and did the lawn one time.

"It's an awful feeling to know that somebody could be coming into your house when you're not home," said Englund.

Englund told 10News after medication disappeared, she became suspicious.

"It pissed me off … that somebody was coming into my house; it's a violation. You almost can't sleep at night when that happens," Englund said.

The homeowners association put a sign up in the community mailroom to warn residents and ask them to come forward with information.

Neighbors said it's shaken their sense of security.

Fred Bolton, who lives directly behind Weiner, said although nothing has disappeared from his home, Weiner also had keys to his unit.

"Doesn't surprise me at all …," Bolton said. "She had them at one time … and then they told me they didn't have them … so I say I changed the locks," Bolton said.

Englund agreed, and she said it serves as a warning to not trust anyone.

"Those people need to change their locks for sure; anybody moves into a new house, you need to change your locks," said Englund.

Weiner pleaded not guilty to the charges on November 7, and she posted $25,000 bail and is now back at home.

She is expected to be in court Nov. 26, and if convicted could face a maximum of 10 years in prison.

10News tried to talk to Weiner, but She did not want to speak on camera.

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