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Caregiver charged in $130,000 theft from residence




Jacob Christoff (Lake County Sheriff's Department)

A Crown Point man has been charged with theft and exploitation of a dependent for allegedly stealing more than $130,000 in items from a residence where he was supposed to be caring for a man with multiple sclerosis.

Jacob Zachary Christoff, 26, was charged after the wife of the patient discovered a basket and a bottle of wine missing on Dec. 8 from the family home in St. John. The woman told police after she wrote a letter to Christoff about the missing items, he returned them the next day, the probable cause affidavit states. The woman said Christoff's explanation left her suspicious and she began thoroughly checking the home, the probable cause affidavit states.


The stolen items include an antique chest, numerous old coins, including silver dollars, half dollars and quarters, a Movado watch, saxophone, several pieces of jewelry, a grill that was still in the box, more than one iPhone 6s, and several sets of speakers. Also missing were old military patches that belonged to the man's grandfather, the affidavit states.

When the wife contacted Meded of Merrillville, which she had hired for a caregiver, to ask for assistance in getting the military patches returned, the woman told police she found them the next day in her mailbox. Christoff's mother is an owner of the business.

The most valuable items among those stolen are 16 gold Major League baseball commemorative coins worth more than $100,000, the affidavit states.

A private investigator hired by the victims found missing coins at a Hammond business, which had allegedly been sold by a man who said identified himself as Christoff's boyfriend, the affidavit said. On Dec. 20, Christoff contacted the private investigator and handed over two coins when they met at a Crown Point gas station.

The investigator also found a set of speakers on Dec. 18 at a Merrillville business, and a saxophone on Dec. 7 at a Calumet City, Ill., pawn shop. On Dec. 17, the Movado watch was sold at the same shop, court documents said. Home theater speakers were sold to a Merrillville business.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by CHICAGOTRIBUNE
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length

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