Christine Ablaza

Cristina M. Ablaza, 48, of Palatine, has been charged with one count of felony theft after allegedly withdrawing thousands of dollars from the bank account of a Riverside cancer patient for whom she was working as a caretaker.

Ablaza is accused of swindling $6,300 from a 76-year-old Riverside woman over a period of about at least two months. She abruptly quit her job as caretaker in early April, according to police, claiming the need to travel to the Philippines to care for a sick relative.

“The fact that the offender in this case was put in a position of trust and [was] taking care of a cancer patient who was going through cancer treatments during the time frame that the thefts were taking place is despicable,” said Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel.

The victim’s son, a 45-year-old Downers Grove man, initially went to police on May 18 after noticing at least eight withdrawals of cash from the victim’s bank account over a period of months.

Police reported obtaining evidence including bank records and video surveillance camera footage indicating Ablanza was responsible for the bank withdrawals.

After attempting unsuccessfully to apprehend Ablaza by visiting several last-known addresses in the northwest suburbs, police obtained an arrest warrant.

On July 28, an attorney representing Ablaza contacted police to arrange for his client to turn herself in. She surrendered to police on Aug. 6 and will appear in bond court Aug. 7.

According to police, Ablaza has no prior criminal record.

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