Dunn Co. group home worker accused of stealing money, diamond ring from residents

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MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The assistant manager of a group home near Elk Mound is accused of stealing money from several residents, petty cash, as well as pawning a resident's diamond ring.

Prosecutors filed eight felony theft charges against Erin Insteness, 42, of Chippewa Falls on Friday. A warrant was also filed in the case.

Insteness is accused of taking the money between January 2013 and April 2014. A total of more than $4,400 was reported missing from seven residents of Brotoloc North's Tara Place in the Town of Elk Mound last month. Its website says residents there can be mentally ill, developmentally disabled, or alcohol or drug-dependent. A criminal complaint says Insteness has worked for the company for 16 years, and when an administrator asked her about the missing money, she denied taking it.

Investigators say that administrator also found a receipt in Insteness' desk from a diamond ring that was pawned. They later determined the ring belonged to one of the residents. The complaint says Brotoloc paid back the residents for their losses.