Florida Man Arrested After Amazon Alexa Alerts Family to Suspected Theft at Assisted Living Facility

A man is accused of stealing from an assisted living facility in Florida after his elderly victim's Amazon Alexa device alerted his family to the alleged offense.

Russell Bannister was arrested after the Ormond Beach Police Department responded to reports of a disturbance at the Brookdale Assisted Living Facility on December 22.

Police said Bannister, 47, is alleged to have entered an elderly resident's room without his consent or knowledge to steal cash and credit cards.

While he was inside the room, Bannister's presence was detected by the resident's Alexa device, which alerted a family member.

As reported by Fox 35 Orlando, the Amazon device has a video "check-in" feature which the victim's daughter, who lives in Alaska, uses to keep an eye on her father. The daughter saw a man allegedly going through her father's wallet while using the feature.

The daughter alerted her sister, who lives in Ormond Beach, who then arrived at the facility with her son to confront Bannister, who was still inside the room.

"I was there to protect my grandfather, and that was my sole duty," the victim's grandson told WFTV.

Bannister was arrested by police soon after he fled the scene.

During the investigation, police identified three other victims, all over the age of 90 and residing at different assisted living facilities in Ormond Beach, who may have been targeted by Bannister.

"It is believed that Bannister has done this in other areas of the County and we are asking that family members please reach out to any loved ones who are staying in assisted living facilities in the area to ensure they have not been victimized by Bannister," Ormond Beach Police Department said.

In a statement, the Brookdale Assisted Living Facility said: "First and foremost, the safety and wellbeing of our residents is [our] primary priority and we are grateful that police responded to the situation and assisted us in handling this unusual incident.

"It's important to note, that in response to the situation, associates have been re-trained on the Visitor/Guest policy.

"We will continue to make decisions about this situation, keeping our residents as a top priority. We appreciate law enforcement's response to the situation and we will refer to officials for details about their findings as we continue to cooperate with them as needed."

The Ormond Beach Police Department has been contacted for further comment.

Police are urging anyone who fear their loved one may have been victimized by Bannister to contact Sergeant Tom Larsen by phone, 386-676-3520, or email, tom.larsen@ormondbeach.org.

 Russell Bannister
Russell Bannister was arrested after an Amazon Alexa device allegedly captured him stealing from an elderly man. Ormond Beach Police Department