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East Syracuse residents arrested in exploitation case

DeWitt police arrested Christina Searles, 27, and Andrew Firnstein, 29, both of 131 Washburn Drive, East Syracuse, on Monday, July 16, for exploiting and stealing from an elderly man.

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SCOTT KAPRAL

Searles

Sgt. Scott Kapral, of the DeWitt Police Criminal Investigations Division, said police arrested Searles and Firnstein and charged them with third-degree grand larceny after more than 60 antique collectibles belonging to a 75-year-old man went missing. Searles and Firnstein are in a relationship, Kapral said.

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Scott Kapral

Firnstein

The 75-year-old suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, and was being cared for by Searles. The man’s family was paying Searles $150 per week for assisting in his care. Police could not release the man’s name, as the investigation is ongoing.

During this time, police said the defendants stole the antique collectibles from the man’s home. Additional charges are pending, police said, as the 75-year-old man is also missing thousands of dollars from his checking account.

Searles was arraigned in town of DeWitt court and lodged at the Justice Center in lieu of $7,000 cash bail or $14,000 bond. Firnstein was lodged at the Justice Center in lieu of a $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond. The courts also issued an order of protection requiring the defendants to stay away from the victim and his family.

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