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Caught on hidden camera: Employees at senior living home accused of stealing from residents

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OZAUKEE COUNTY -- Three women, former employees of the McKinley Place senior living community in Cedarburg are accused of stealing from residents at the facility, and some of the thefts for which the women are now charged were captured by hidden cameras.

Lafaysha Drew

Lafaysha Drew

30-year-old Lafaysha Drew of Milwaukee faces the following charges:

  • Theft of movable property (special facts)
  • Intentionally abusing patients -- no harm

29-year-old Lugenia Taylor of Milwaukee faces the following charges:

  • Theft of movable property (special facts)
  • Intentionally abusing patients -- no harm
Joan Walton Wentz

Joan Walton Wentz

59-year-old Joan Walton Wentz of Germantown faces the following charges:

  • Theft of movable property (special facts) -- three counts
  • Intentionally abusing patients -- no harm

According to the criminal complaint, on January 26th, Cedarburg police spoke with two women who showed up at the Cedarburg Police Department for a report of a theft. The women told officers their long-time family friend, an 83-year-old woman with dementia, was victimized at the "McKinley Place" senior living community on McKinley Boulevard in Cedarburg.

One of the women said she served as the financial "power of attorney" for the victim, who had moved into the senior living community around Thanksgiving 2015.

McKinley Place

McKinley Place

The women told officers that shortly after the victim moved into the facility, they noticed things they felt needed to be brought to the attention of the facility's administrator. For example, they said they noted that the woman's medications were not being administered in the proper doses, and that they were given at improper times or skipped altogether. The women also claimed their friend wasn't receiving showering assistance, and was given a shower once in a two-month period. They claimed her bedding was changed once since her arrival in November.

In addition to these complaints, the woman told police they noticed items missing from their friend's apartment at the facility.

Hidden cameras placed in clocks

Hidden cameras placed in clocks

The women purchased two video recorders which were disguised as clocks, and one was placed in the woman's bedroom, and the other in the living room of her apartment at the facility.

The women claimed the cameras captured a McKinley Place employee taking three Target gift cards that were lying on their friend's kitchen counter. They also reported a Pick 'n Save gift card stolen by an employee.

The complaint indicates one of the victim's friends was able to show police video recorded on January 25th, which showed an employee the women identified as "Joan" removing the victim's purse from a dresser drawer in her apartment. "Joan" was seen removing a $20 bill, several $1 bills and a $10 bill from the purse. "Joan" was seen placing the money into her pocket. The video clearly showed "Joan's" face.

The victim's friends told police they had two other videos which showed various employees entering their friend's refrigerator and removing food items for their own consumption.

Cedarburg police on January 31st received 14 videos showing various employees entering the victim's apartment at McKinley Place and "looking through cabinets, closets, the refrigerator and bathroom vanity."

"How can you sleep at night? How can you do this to people who can't defend themselves? This is as bad as abusing a child. Somebody has to protect these people. I hope that people realize you can't just put someone into assisted living and walk away. It's very hard to watch this happen to someone you love," the victim's friend said.

Hidden cameras capture thefts at McKinley Place assisted living facility in Cedarburg

Hidden cameras capture thefts at McKinley Place assisted living facility in Cedarburg

On February 1st, Cedarburg police spoke with the administrator of McKinley Place, informing him that these two women had set up hidden video cameras in their friend's apartment. The administrator took a look at the video allegedly showing "Joan" stealing money from the woman's apartment, and the administrator was able to identify the woman seen in the video as Joan Walton Wentz.

The administrator identified Lafaysha Drew as the person seen on video eating food from the victim's refrigerator, and taking three Target gift cards from the woman's apartment, according to the complaint.

Hidden cameras capture thefts at McKinley Place assisted living facility in Cedarburg

Hidden cameras capture thefts at McKinley Place assisted living facility in Cedarburg

The administrator identified Lugenia Taylor as the person seen on video taking a Pick 'n Save gift card from the victim's apartment, according to the complaint.

Police spoke with Walton Wentz at the facility. According to the complaint, Walton Wentz said she had "no information to give" regarding any thefts at the facility. When Walton Wentz was notified that hidden camera video had been recorded, showing certified nursing assistants committing thefts, Walton Wentz said she had taken money from a man who lived at the facility. Walton Wentz also told police she had taken money from the purse of a woman living at the facility.

McKinley Place

McKinley Place

According to the complaint, Walton Wentz said her husband had passed away three years ago, and she had "come on hard times" and needed the money.

When asked if she had committed any additional thefts, the complaint indicates Walton Wentz "adamently" stated that she did not.

When shown the video of "Joan" stealing money from the women's friend's apartment at McKinley Place, Walton Wentz then acknowledged she had also stolen money from that woman, according to the complaint.

Police say Walton Wentz admitted to stealing a total of $60 from the three residents at the facility.

Walton Wentz was terminated from McKinley Place.

Drew was also interviewed by police. She was shown video showing a person stealing Target gift cards from the woman's apartment, and Drew denied taking any gift cards from the victim.

Police asked Taylor to come to the Cedarburg Police Department for an interview in this case, but as of February 8th, she had not done so.

Drew and Taylor were also terminated from McKinley Place.

A representative from McKinley Place told FOX6 News "the safety and well-being of our residents is of the highest importance," and said they have been cooperating with police.

Court records show a past theft conviction for one of the suspects in this case. McKinley Place officials wouldn't tell us about any background checks done on employees.

9 comments

  • Anthony

    Why use for a mugshot, in the beginning of an African American woman, when it clearly shows white women who are doing the majority of these crimes.

    • Angry Dad

      Oh yeah, white women are doing the majority of these crimes. Do you ever watch the news? Do you consider yourself in touch with reality? Apparently not, otherwise you would know that there are hundreds of these crimes a day in America committed by black criminals nearly 90% of the time. Considering blacks are a minority and only represent approx. 16% of the population that is a lot of crime that is directly attributed to such a small segment of society. Truth hurts Anthony? Keep voting democrat fool. You fail to see how democratic policies have destroyed the black nuclear family in America. You fail to see how the democrats give incentives to black women to have babies with as many worthless criminal men as possible. You fail to see how black democrat mothers are neglecting their kids and living party lifestyles on taxpayer and child support funds. You fail to see the CAUSE of the problem. Blacks were not this weak before the government social intervention that started in the 1940s even though they faced more challenges than you face today including actual racial discrimination. They were strong families, men of morals who worked and provided for their children. What you know about that Anthony?

  • W.T.F.

    who cares what color they are , they are just a bunch of low live`s. wish someone would steal from them, so they would know how it feels. just scum.

  • Just a Thought

    All 3 are total piece’s of crap. I say that we reverse the roles and treat them the way they treated others. Oh yea, they probably only shower monthly & don’t use bedding anyway. Hood garbage!

  • Drea

    DISGUSTINGLY APPALLINGLY!! PLEASE, let’s hope these “people” get some legal punishment!! THIS happens ALL the time!! Thank God, the poor woman has AWESOME people to look out for her, when SO many don’t!!
    You know how much it costs to live in one of these facilities?? They practically “rape” your loved ones out of EVERYthing when the elderly deserve the MOST respect!!!

Comments are closed.