LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A former restaurant manager allegedly stole tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a year, leading police to arrest him at his new restaurant job, according to documents the 8 News Now Investigators obtained.
Police arrested Patrick Norena on charges of theft of more than $25,000 but less than $100,000, court records showed.
In May, a representative from SkinnyFATS came to Metro police to report an alleged embezzlement involving Norena amounting to more than $56,000 and dating back to May 2022, documents said. Norena was the manager of the restaurant’s Warm Springs Road location in the southwest valley.
An independent accounting firm alerted the SkinnyFATS representative to thousands of dollars missing in cash deposits, documents said.
“Reports showed [Norena] was months behind on deposits,” documents said. “[An employee] reached out to [Norena] to ask if he knew anything about the discrepancies. Patrick stated he did not and would investigate the issue when he got back to work.”
An employee spoke to a bank representative who told them she remembered Norena coming in to make deposits, documents said. After an employee spoke to Norena about the missing money, video surveillance showed Norena coming to the business in an attempt “to put some of the money he stole back into the safe,” documents said.
The company terminated Norena soon after, documents said.
“[Norena] was confronted about the money shortage and afforded an opportunity to explain himself,” documents said, “[He] admitted to stealing money and explained that he was paying his own bills with the money he took from the restaurant.”
Detectives said they could not find or locate Norena at the time a warrant for his arrest was signed in July, records showed.
Officers arrested Norena at a different restaurant on Friday, Nov. 10, documents said. Police also impounded several blue M30 pills during the arrest, they said.
Norena was released from custody without having to post bail. He was due to return to court on Dec. 18. On Nov. 10, prosecutors added a drug charge to his case. No attorney was listed in his criminal docket.