Hospital Worker Arrested for Stealing from Childhood Cancer Charity

Rene Ballenas, 49, is charged with grand larceny and burglary and is accused of taking more than $7,000 worth of valuables from the Children's Cancer and Blood Foundation offices

By Jonathan Dienst and Shimon Prokupecz
|  Tuesday, Oct 2, 2012  |  Updated 3:56 PM EDT
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Hospital Worker Arrested for Stealing from Kids Cancer Charity

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A Manhattan man has been arrested for stealing thousands of dollars worth of goods from a charity that helps children with cancer.

Rene Ballenas, 50, is charged with grand larceny and burglary, according to a criminal complaint released by the Manhattan District Attorney's office.

Ballenas is accused of taking more than $7,000 worth of valuables from the Children’s Cancer and Blood Foundation offices on East 38th Street.

A worker there told police she saw surveillance video of Ballenas going into locked rooms and storage areas that belonged to the charity when the office was closed. The complaint said he stole iPads, a purse, shirts, printer equipment and bottles of wine.
 
The charity said Ballenas was not allowed on its premises off hours. 
 
Several of the stolen items were going to be used at an upcoming auction to raise money to help sick children.  Instead, investigators believe Ballenas sent the stolen goods to his native Phillipines where they were sold and he pocketed some of the cash.
 
Officials said Ballenas works as a clerical worker at New York Presbyterian Hospital which has office space in the same building as the foundation. They said he obtained a key from a locksmith doing work in the building. 
 
Ballenas admitted to detectives he had been stealing from the foundation for several months. He said he obtained a copy of a key to the offices enabling him to break in after hours, according to law enforcement sources.
 
Ballenas was arraigned in Manhattan criminal court Tuesday afternoon and remains behind bars on $10,000 bail.  

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