Woman fleeced by 'best friend' while undergoing brain surgery

MULTNOMAH COUNTY, Ore. - Military veteran Vicki Larkins just had brain surgery. Her speech is slow and her hair is still growing back.

But before Larkins went under the knife - or her case, a drill - to relieve the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, she asked her friend across the hall, Pamela Boyd, for a favor.

"My family's coming and I asked her if she would clean my house," Larkins recalls. "And I would pay her back." Larkins' family members were due to arrive to help in her recovery.

But while Larkins was recovering in the hospital, she claims Boyd trashed her apartment, stole her jewelry and took her bank card on a spending spree.

"She was making a lot of noise over here, [neighbors] couldn't figure out what she was doing, why she was making so much noise," Larkins said.

Luckily, some of Larkins other neighbors did notice what was going on. "They had been watching her, what she'd been doing," she said.

One neighbor who suspected Boyd was up to no good said she and a few others at the complex decided to keep an eye on her.

That neighbor even went along with Boyd to a pawn shop in Northeast Portland where she says Boyd tried to pawn a bunch of rings - after making a stop at Larkins' apartment. The neighbor alerted Larkins' family.

"I couldn't believe she'd do something like that, you know?" Larkins said. "I just said "nah, she couldn't do that. She called me her best friend!'"

Police said Boyd went beyond pawning Larkins' jewelry. Boyd is also accused of putting about a $1,000 worth of purchases on Larkins' bank card. Police said she admitted to some of those purchases but said Larkins gave her permission to pawn the items.

Larkins is now recovering, both financially and in terms of her health, while her former friend faces charges of identity theft and burglary.

"Best friends don't do that to people," Larkins said.

She also said the surgery has helped abate some symptoms of her illness.