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Health Aide Booked for Shoplifting, Possible Immigration Action

A woman from Ghana charged with shoplifting in Toms River Monday night now faces possible action by the federal bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Police say that Joyce Abbabio, 33, also gave officers an address on Tudor Place in the Bronx at the time of her arrest in Kohl’s in the Toms River Shopping Center on Route 37. They shortly learned a lot more.

According to Police Chief Mike Mastronardy, arresting officers found multiple identifications and 57 pieces of jewelry wrapped in paper towels inside her purse.

Among the items were rings bearing the insignia of the New York City Police Department and Xavier High School, which she claimed to belong to a relative in Africa, Mastronardy says.

Abbabio had worked in the Toms River area since April as a health care worker for aged patients, say Officer Frank Lauria and Detective Brian Lomer, using aliases including Akosua Oforiwaa, Faustina Abebio and Joyce Abebio.

She is being held on no bail in the Ocean County Jail, and police have notified ICE agents. Mastronardy declined to identify the health organization that employed her but indicated that the firm is cooperating. Investigators determined that one item found on Abbabio belonged to a patient she tended in Manchester’s Whiting section.

The investigation remains open. Police urge anyone who believes he or she may have been involved with Abbabio to call Detective Lomer at 732-349-0150, extension 1217.


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