Director: St. Vincent de Paul employees fired for stealing

St. Vincent de Paul employees fired for stealing

DAYTON — Four employees at the St. Vincent de Paul homeless shelter were fired after the executive director said they were caught stealing items intended for guests.

“It’s a shock and it hurts your heart,” said St. Vincent de Paul Executive Director Michael Vanderburgh.  “It hurts when they make choices to serve themselves and not serve the people they are supposed to serve.”

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Vanderburgh said the thefts were detected over a period of a couple weeks earlier this year.

The items reportedly stolen included food and clothing.

The theft reports came after the shelter recently enacted enhanced loss prevention measures late last year.  The upgrades were just a matter of enhancing the system they already had and were not in response to any previous theft reports, Vanderburgh said.

All of the thefts were reported to Dayton police.  We’re working to learn whether anyone is facing criminal charges.

One of the fired employees had been with St. Vincent de Paul for seven years, one for three years and the two others for under a year, the executive director said.

Vanderburgh said it appeared that two of the employees were acting together and the other two were acting individually.

While the crimes committed would be classified as “petty thefts,” Vanderburgh said they treat them seriously.

“We have a sacred trust for all of the items that the public entrusts in us,” the executive director said.  “These items are tremendously important for us to be able to serve (the most vulnerable).”