Ruth A. Stepp, 41, of 1881 A Clinton Furnace Road, Wheelersburg, is being accused of stealing money from her employer, Hill View Retirement Community, located at 1610 28th St., Portsmouth.
"She was mad at her boss and felt as though Hill View owed her the money," said Portsmouth Police Detective Andy Dawes. "She handled money from several different sources, including money for laundry machines, guest meals, guest rooms when relatives visited residents, and in the gift store."
Employees became suspicious when money began coming up missing, and enlisted the help of Portsmouth Police Department.
"Hill View came to us. They did quite a bit of the investigative work themselves," Dawes said. "They have been suspicious of her for thefts for quite some time."
One woman reported theft from her purse, while another who had received Stepp's help with the billing process noticed the money did not match the paperwork.
Other incidents included property taken from one of the residents who had died, and cases of borrowing money without permission, according to the report filed with detectives.
Because of money turning up missing, management at Hill View decided to mount surveillance cameras over the areas where money was handled.
According to the police report, shortly after the cameras were installed, Stepp was observed taking money from the cash box, putting it in her pockets and then her purse as she was leaving for the day.
Detectives say video surveillance unveiled thefts on July 11 and July 15.
On July 25, Dawes, along with Detective Pat Hutchens, made contact with Stepp at her residence. They report she advised them she had taken money from Hill View on several occasions during the past couple of months.
Police say Stepp said she had taken at least $500 during the last couple of months. Stepp also said she owed the gift shop about $70 for items she had taken from the store and not paid for yet. She denied involvement in several other thefts.
"A warrant was issued for her, and today (Tuesday), she turned herself in here at the police department," Dawes said. "She appeared this morning in Portsmouth Municipal Court, was released on her own recognizance and set for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 8."
Dawes was complimentary of the investigative work done by Hill View officials before the charges being filed.
FRANK LEWIS can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.