MORRIS – A We Care of Grundy County client has been charged with theft for allegedly stealing checks from the nonprofit organization last month.
Darren C. Meyjes, 46, of Morris, was arrested by Morris police and booked Wednesday into the Grundy County Jail on a charge of theft, a Class A misdemeanor. He posted $500 bond and was released by Thursday, according to Grundy County Sheriff Kevin Callahan. According to judici.com, Meyjes has a criminal history involving theft.
We Care had Salvation Army checks stolen from its office that totaled $4,200, We Care Executive Director Denise Gaska said.
“It was money raised from the bell ringing,” she said. “The $4,200 is about a week’s worth of bell ringing. That would help about 40 families with utilities, bills and partial rent payments.”
According to the investigation report, detectives investigated charges of theft, deceptive practice and forgery. So far, Meyjes is only being charged with theft.
“We made the arrest on a Class A misdemeanor,” Morris Police Chief Brent Dite said. “However the investigation will be evaluated by the state’s attorney’s office and could produce additional charges.”
Meyjes was a client for We Care who would sometimes volunteer, Gaska said. Last month while he was in the office for assistance, he was in an office with a We Care employee who was called out of the office, briefly leaving Meyjes alone.
When the employee returned they noticed the checks missing from The Salvation Army booklet, Gaska said.
Gaska was notified and immediately called The Salvation Army. Because of the format of the checks, The Salvation Army did not believe the checks could be used, Gaska said. But it later called We Care when it was discovered the checks had been deposited.
Dite said while investigating it was discovered the checks had been deposited into an account of Meyjes’s.
Gaska said We Care employees now no longer leave their offices unsupervised when anyone else is in their offices, and the doors are kept closed whenever an employee is not occupying it.
She said in her 10 years with We Care, an incident like this has never occurred.
“It was one of those things where you give someone a second chance and not let their past influence you. ... We really got burned on that,” she said.