Police & Fire

Police Investigate Theft Reported at West Orange Group Home

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — West Orange police are investigating a reported theft of more than $6,000 from developmentally disabled patients at an Ellison Avenue group home, according to police.

The group home’s manager told police she uncovered the theft of $6,080 that she said occurred sometime between May 23 and October 13, 2016, according to a police report.

Some 25 withdrawals, ranging from $100 to $300, were made from three patient accounts during that time period, the manager told police, according to the report.

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The patients’ conditions are so severe they are unable to speak for themselves, the report states.

The manager of the facility told authorities she took over the position on Oct. 14, 2016. The manager soon noticed withdrawals from patient accounts that did not match the entries noted in the log sheets for patient accounts, and she told police on April 7, according to the report.

The group home is owned by Universal Institute, which specializes in neurological rehabilitation, according to the company’s website. It operates group homes and provides other facilities and clinical, vocational and rehabilitative services in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan, according to the company’s website.

The report did not name the manager.

A spokeswoman for the police department said the matter is under investigation.

A company spokeswoman declined comment.

An employee at the group home said the patients there are developmentally disabled, and referred calls to the company spokeswoman.

The patients’ next of kin had to be notified of the theft, according to the report.

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