GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A homeless man in Michigan allegedly tricked an elderly woman into letting him move into her apartment.
The 84-year-old woman with dementia has lived in an apartment complex and independent living facility in Grand Rapids for the past six years. Mary Rademacher apparently learned last week her aunt was not living alone.
“Thursday night… I called her and found out her phone was changed. Her phone number was changed which I thought was very odd,” Rademacher said.
Rademacher said she then called her aunt’s cell phone and a man answered.
“A gentleman answered, and he said, ‘Who are you?’ and I said, ‘Well, who are you?’ He said, ‘I’m Phil, and I’m a paramedic and your aunt fell a couple days ago, and I’m just here checking on her,’” Rademacher recalled.
Rademacher then talked to her aunt, who said everything was fine and he had been living in the apartment for several days.
“She mentioned that he’d been sleeping on the Lazy Boy chair for the last five days, and that he’s been a perfect gentleman,” Rademacher said.
The “paramedic” was actually Phuc Pham, a homeless man who gained access to the building and moved into the apartment. During his stay, he attempted to open a credit card for the woman and ordered several premium channels from Comcast.
Rademacher set up a sting and Pham was arrested on Saturday. He is charged Pham with “embezzlement from a vulnerable adult.”
Police said Pham may have also been misleading a 90-year-old woman at the same facility.
Rademacher told WXMI she was told by apartment management that they aren’t responsible for monitoring who comes in and out of the building.