Police warn organizations to increase oversight to prevent theft

LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP, CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. - A treasurer of a Cumberland County youth baseball association is charged for stealing money from them. Now, Lower Allen Township Police are reminding organizations to not be so trusting.

More than $19,000 was stolen from Cedar Cliff Youth Baseball Association between March and September 2017. The association's treasurer at the time, Wayne Crecelius, is now facing theft charges.

"I know that there was a lot of opportunity," said Lower Allen Township Police Captain Leon Crone. "Things were loose enough that it was easy enough for a dishonest person to sort of slip through the cracks there and obtain a lot of money."

Money being stolen from organizations seems to be happening more often. In October, a Lebanon County woman was charged for stealing more than $50,000 from three youth soccer teams, where she served as treasurer. However, Capt. Crone isn't quick to call it a trend.

"We do see more of it," said Capt. Crone. "I think maybe more of it is just being caught now because people are paying a little bit more attention."

Capt. Crone says all organizations handling money can't give one person all the power and control, and frequent audits should be a must.

"Make sure there are checks and balances in place. Just double up on everything to keep everybody honest," said Capt. Crone. "You'd like to think the best of people, that they're not going to rip off the organization but you have to put procedures in place just in case you get that bad seed planted."

Court paperwork says Crecelius has since paid back Cedar Cliff Youth Baseball Association.