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Deputies: Caretaker staged break-in to steal from client

The aftermath of an 83-year-old's caretaker, Lewis Klaiber, and his robbery attempt. 08-20-13
The aftermath of an 83-year-old's caretaker, Lewis Klaiber, and his robbery attempt.
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Updated: 8/21/2013 11:08 am
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. -- A Seminole County caretaker admits he staged a break-in to steal from his client in a wheelchair.

Deputies said Lewis Klaiber went so far as to call 911 in a panic and help the 83-year-old man load his gun for protection Monday.

The victim said his caretaker's hoax had him fooled.

The client said he was sleeping at home when the worker just barged into his room in hysterics and told him someone had just broken in.

At first glance, Seminole County sheriff's deputies thought they had all the signs of a residential break-in: a broken window, ransacked office, almost $1,000 in missing cash and a dramatic 911 call.

"I'm hearing tussling. I'm not sure. I don't know. I'm scared right now. Can you please get here? Please?" Klaiber said.

The frantic call came in overnight from Klaiber who was looking after a disabled 83-year-old man inside a Heathrow home when he says he heard the window shatter.

Concerned deputies instantly threw up the sheriff's chopper and put a K-9 unit on the ground.

"When they arrived on scene, they immediately knew something just didn't add up," Heather Smith of the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.

The glass was broken from the inside, the outside bushes weren't touched and their K-9 didn't pick up any new scents.

That's when deputies turned their focus to the caregiver.

"He admitted to us that he had made the calls and that he had set the stage for it look like a burglary," Smith said.

Klaiber was arrested.

Klaiber's employer, Visitings Angels, released a statement Tuesday: "We at Visiting Angels are working in full cooperation with the Seminole County Sheriff's Department regarding this incident. However, Lewis Klaiber was not working for Visiting Angels, but working for a private client. When using home care services, this is why we at Visiting Angels always recommend using care from an agency as opposed to a private caregiver, as we are both insured and bonded."

Behind his door Tuesday evening, Klaiber said he made a mistake and was sorry.

"I was trying to help my daughter and stuff," Klaiber said.

The victim said he liked Klaiber and feels betrayed.

Video: WFTV Orlando
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