Illinois dental office employee arraigned for stealing from co-workers’ purses

DECATUR – A 34-year-old woman who is on probation for a 2012 conviction for stealing purses from cars was arraigned Tuesday on a felony charge of theft after she allegedly stole from fellow employees at a dental office.

Kelly Lee Distasio was arrested April 2, after a manager at Familia Dental, 141 E. Pershing Road, told police that she was suspected of taking cash from a purse, coat pocket and cash drawer.

The manager said thefts began occurring at the workplace during the prior two weeks, about two weeks after the woman they knew as Kelly Martin was hired as a receptionist.

According to a police statement, when two other receptionists left their work area, Kelly walked over to the filing cabinet in that area, which contained a cash box.

Video surveillance footage clearly showed “Kelly opening this drawer and reached in to the rear of this drawer,” said the statement, by Decatur patrol officer Joseph M. Sawyer. “Kelly retrieved something and placed them in her coat pocket … Kelly hurried while doing this while looking for the receptionists to return.”

The cash box was later found to be “missing $269.”

Other missing money included $130 from an employee’s purse, $10 from an employee’s coat pocket and $20 from a petty cash fund.

When Distasio was questioned, she initially said she was not near the filing cabinet. When told about the video that placed her there, she “recalled getting in the drawer to get a patient’s file.”

The manager told police Kelly was hired after she showed a North Carolina ID with “Kelly Martin” on it. A background check turned up no prior criminal record. According to police, Martin is an alias for Distasio.

In her prior case, Distasio was convicted of stealing purses from two women, 78 and 66 years old, as the victims were loading groceries in their vehicles in the Walmart parking lot on the city’s north side. The incidents occurred in late March 2012. Distasio was apprehended after surveillance video identified the vehicle she had been using. One of the purses contained $700 in cash.

Distasio was sentenced to two years’ probation after pleading guilty to two felony counts of burglary May 15, 2012.

Distasio is being held in the Macon County Jail, pending her preliminary hearing in her most recent case April 24.


Do you have questions about embezzlement?  Give Prosperident a call at 888-398-2327 or send an email to requests@dentalembezzlement.com

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