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Owen County Recycling Center Director Facing Theft Charge
Updated August 30, 2016 7:02 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(OWEN CO.) - The Owen County Recycling Center Director was arrested last week after admitting to stealing from the company's coffers.

An auditor's office employee first noticed the discrepancy, and reported her findings to the Owen County commissioners last week.

Three days of cash receipts from the county recycling center had not been turned in. There was $499 missing, the proceeds from Aug. 9, 12 and 13.

Commissioner Donnie Minnick called 39-year-old Oren Demaree to inquire about the missing funds. Demaree admitted to taking the money, so his family wouldn't be sleeping on the streets.

On Wednesday, sheriff's department deputies seized records and cash at the recycling center and arrested Demaree on charges of theft and official misconduct.

Demaree is being held on a $10,500 bond.

Owen County Circuit Court Judge Lori Quillen appointed public defender Jacob Fish to represent Demaree.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Demaree confessed to taking a total of $839 from the recycling center coffers over a month's time. He repaid some of it when he received his paycheck or borrowed money from others to repay the missing funds.

He told police he had taken money about 10 times, but would just take $50 or $60 at first, but that amount increased over time.

Demaree, whose annual salary as full-time director of the Robert E. Clark Recycling Center is $20,947.67 -- about $10 an hour -- told police his family of five was struggling financially and that he took the money because he did not want his wife and three kids "to sleep in a tent" and that he was sorry for his actions.

Demaree started working at the recycling center part time in May 2014, and took over as director in February 2015.

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