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Homeless Shelter Case Worker Accused Of Theft

Posted On March 26, 2014

By Mike Perleberg

Melissa Gabbard Dearborn County Sheriff's Dept.

Melissa Gabbard
Dearborn County Sheriff’s Dept.

(Aurora, Ind.) – A former homeless shelter employee stands accused of using her employee credit card to pay her personal expenses, though she claims she was trying to help three residents who left the shelter.

Last July, Dearborn-Ohio County Special Crimes Unit detectives began investigating Melissa N. Gabbard, a former case manager at the Heart House in Aurora. Detectives were told by the shelter’s administrator that Gabbard, 45, of Guilford, had made suspicious charges to her employee credit card.

According to a court affidavit, the card charges which included Gabbard’s internet, cable, and utility bills totaled $5,064.55. The payments were made in June and July.

Detectives spoke with Gabbard in September. She explained that she developed a relationship with two residents of the shelter and their children.

“Gabbard told your affiant that she has a soft spot for children and got too close to them giving them her money as well as Heart House money,” the affidavit stated.

Gabbard said that she had given the credit card to a third resident, who eventually left the Heart House with the first two residents to a campground in Carrollton, Kentucky, but did not return the credit card until a number of purchases had been made on it.

The card was given to the former resident once again by Gabbard less than two weeks later, she told investigators. Again, purchases were made by those former residents. Gabbard went to the campground in Kentucky to get the card back a second time, but was told that they no longer had it and no longer had money to pay for the purchases.

Gabbard admitted to police that she had gone to Enterprise Car Rental in Florence and did sign contracts for two car rentals for the former residents, paid for with the credit card.

According to affidavit, Gabbard stated “she knew that what she had done was wrong and that she used poor judgment when she gave Cantine the card knowing that he was no longer a resident.”

Gabbard was formally charged on January 10 with Theft (Class De felony). She was arrested on January 24 and has since bonded out of jail. A jury trial is scheduled for June 9 in Dearborn Superior Court I.

13 comments
babygirl3248
babygirl3248

I think when she worked at the heart house she was the payee of residence I believe those previous residence may want to investigate and make sure Missy was not stealing from them. She was my husbands payee at the time and we have notified a attorney over Melissa Gabbard 

babygirl3248
babygirl3248

I feel if she knew what she was doing and she knew it was wrong then why did she do it? I understand you will have the people who know her and are "friends" with her will have her back. But in the same time you have the place where she had stolen from that she was once asking for help from. Being a case manager at the Heart house is it their JOB  to help residents find employment/ get on food stamps/ get disability help get back into society. She was getting a paycheck for doing those things.And No the heart house do not make you give them your food stamps I ask you to donate some so it will help get sides and snacks for the kids ect... The Heart house is a great place and they try to help people get on their feet they have helped me a lot and I am blessed to have them there when I needed a place to go. They also helped Missy out and what did they get back in return? A credit card that was in her possesion that the Heart House had trusted her with. Rather she was with a con arrest or not  she knew what she was doing and what she was doing was wrong and you are right only god can judge so hopefully some people can realize that some people need to take blame for their own actions!

LorettaKinnett
LorettaKinnett

what is sad about that place if you stay there you got to give them your FOOD STAMPS thats not right you get food for EVERONE  there 



pattonsdawg
pattonsdawg

The soft spot isn't an excuse to pay personal bills, cable and utility totaling $5,064.55. The remaining expenses by other parties is complete stupidity on her part. Sounds like a little "Hard Time" is in order.

foreveryourgirl
foreveryourgirl

She was not his payee, the Heart House was his payee! You should get your story right before posting something like this.

KatyMorgan
KatyMorgan

@babygirl3248  COMPLETLY AGREE!!!!!  Thank goodness they finally have a good case manager that would never steal from anyone.  Why would anyone steal from the Heart House when Mr. Beckley will help anyone with anything they need!!!!


KatyMorgan
KatyMorgan

@LorettaKinnett  we don't force anyone to give food stamps.  the Heart House is a NON PROFIT AGENCY.  The Heart House has to get donations to feed the homeless.  Why couldn't they give back when they know they cant use them anyway.  But the Heart House has never forced anything


foreveryourgirl
foreveryourgirl

If they are forcing you too that is illegal! They can ask for they but just can't tKe them!!

KatyMorgan
KatyMorgan

@foreveryourgirl  The Heart House may have been the official payee but Missy was the one to actually deal with it.