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Article updated: 12/15/2011 5:05 PM

Caregiver arrests prompt warning from Barrington police

By Kimberly Pohl

Barrington police are cautioning residents to thoroughly screen potential caregivers following two arrests this month.

A 44-year-old Buffalo Grove man who worked as a private caregiver for a resident of a Barrington senior living and retirement home community is accused of stealing jewelry on two occasions.

Dennis Ablang, 44, of the 600 block of Sycamore Road was taken into custody Dec. 13 after investigators said he stole more than $60,000 worth of jewelry in October and on Dec. 11 at a building on the 1000 block of Garlands Lane.

He's charged with felony counts of burglary, theft and possession of methamphetamine. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Ablang appeared Thursday at a bond hearing at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan, where a judge set bail at $100,000. He must post 10 percent to be released.

Police said additional victims have been found, and that more charges may be filed.

In a separate case, Barrington police arrested Gina Schoening, 46, of the 0-100 block of Woodland Ave., Elgin, for driving while license revoked. The charge was upgraded to a felony due to a prior driving under the influence arrest.

Schoening also is being investigated by Elgin police because the family of a Barrington resident she was caring for complained she used the victim's credit card for unauthorized purchases, Elgin police spokeswoman Sue Olafson confirmed.

Schoening is in custody at the Lake County jail. A judge set her bail at $25,000 at a Dec. 7 hearing.

Barrington police said anyone facilitating or receiving caregiver assistance should be alert.

They recommend screening caregivers independently or through an agency, and said to look for licensed and/or bonding of caregivers, and copies of licenses or certifications they may hold. Also check references of past clients and make sure those references are authentic.

For more information on how to screen caregivers, visit caring.com/articles/hiring-a-caregiver and caregiver.org.

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