We all need to look out for the most vulnerable among us

Law enforcement officials at all levels and across the country are to be commended for their cooperation in putting behind bars a predator from Alaska who finally was brought to justice in Morgan County.

“Justice has finally caught up to (Andrew J.) Jensen thanks to a strong partnership between law enforcement at the local, state and federal levels,” said Ohio Attorney General David Yost.

“Fifteen victims throughout the nation had their voices heard today,” said Morgan County Prosecutor Mark Howdyshell.

Jensen pleaded guilty to defrauding money, property and services valued at more than $750,000, from folks in several states.

Here in Ohio, there was only one victim, an elderly man with dementia from whom he stole cash and property totaling nearly $240,000. But when family and other Morgan County residents became suspicious, he took the scheme a step further and removed the victim from his support network — the victim was taken to Alaska, Kentucky, Nevada and Tennessee before the operation was put to a stop.

That is important. Neighbors and families were keeping an eye out for the elderly man’s best interests. Their efforts were enough of a hindrance that, unfortunately, this particular criminal took more extreme measures to carry out his plan. But in many cases, that kind of vigilance and support of the older members of our community can put a stop to such activity.

Among Jensen’s tactics was to claim he had plenty of cash, but bad credit, and ask for use of someone else’s personal credit to make large purchases. He also pretended to be independently wealthy or a military veteran to cement his cons.

Bravo to the law enforcement agencies that worked together to stop this monster. Let the rest of us use it as a reminder to keep an eye out for the most vulnerable among us. Criminals like Jensen certainly are.

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