Cops: Nursing assistant steals almost $30K in jewelry from Vietnam vet

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Investigators in Brevard County said a Palm Bay home health care nurse stole tens of thousands of dollars in jewelry from a sick, elderly couple.

Police said she cashed in on her patients by pawning off their most treasured items.

Police believe she may have other victims and they want to get her picture out there.

Joyce Speed had only been working for the company for six months and passed extensive background checks.

She's out of a job and out of jail, after allegedly taking advantage of the couple.

For months, Joyce Speed was entrusted with caring for Mr. and Mrs. Titus Hall inside their Palm Bay home.

Police said she'd been stealing from the elderly couple.

"She confessed to the crime and said she was in need of cash," Palm Bay public information officer Yvonne Martinez said.

The victims' daughters only realized nearly $30,000 in jewelry was missing after Hall passed away.

Their 85-year-old father was a two-star general in the Air Force who served in Vietnam and Korea.

"She pawned the jewelry and then came to his memorial service and offered herself to be of service," the victim's daughter Sandra Mays said.

On Veteran's Day weekend, police discovered Speed sold much of the stolen jewelry at a pawn shop.

The irony was not lost on the victim's devastated daughter.

"Aside from taking away our trust she took away priceless items," Mays said.

Mays said both of her parents suffered from dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Speed was hired from Home Health Care of Florida.

The company's owner said she was fired after being arrested earlier this month and she wasn't available for comment.

Police suspect she may have done it before.

"If they have had interactions with this individual, contact us if they have a concern," Martinez said.

Not all was lost, Speed gave back a necklace she allegedly stole from Hall who has since moved to Memphis to live near her daughters.