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Cleaning Lady Arrested After Multiple Thefts Discovered

A cleaning lady was arrested Friday afternoon after her employer recently discovered that she had been stealing from her. Among the items taken was jewelry, cash, makeup and even clothing. Collaboration between Shomrim and local Neighborhood Coordination Officers from the 71st Precinct led to the arrest.

A Crown Heights family recently made a stunning discovery, not believing that it would happen to them – until it did. They discovered that their trusted cleaning lady who had been working in their house for over eight months has been consistently stealing from them from valuables, such as cash or jewelry, to clothing and food.

“In the beginning it was small stuff that was missing, small amounts of money from my wallet, never too much at once” said Dina Duchan, a local mother and a newborn photographer juggling her children and keeping up with the chores of running an active home.

Needing help she turned to a Brooklyn based agency and hired 41-year-old Luz Olivera from the Bronx and everything went well. “She was an excellent cleaning lady, cleaned well, always on time and never missing work” said Duchan.

“I was very comfortable with her, she was always there for 8 months and I didn’t really pay attention,” she said. “At first it was just a few lost things, but I never really thought it was possible, I didn’t suspect that she was stealing.

“About a month ago she informed me that she would be returning to her native Peru to be with her mother. It was after that where I really noticed lots of things going missing which forced me to take action.”

Unsure of what to do, Mrs. Duchan consulted with friends who suggested that she contact Crown Heights Shomrim, which she promptly did. After explaining the situation she was advised to collect evidence of wrongdoing, which she did by placing hidden cameras in her apartment – a move which quickly captured evidence of repeated theft.

In one incident Olivera was captured on camera taking cash and stuffing it into her shoe, and in another she was seen going through her employers purse as well as trying on her makeup and going through her drawers.

Shomrim then contacted officers in the 71st Precincts Neighborhood Coordination Officers and showed them the videos. The victim was advised to have Mrs. Rivera return to work Friday and call when she did.

Shomrim reached out to the NYPD and officers arrived at the designated time, and after reviewing the video once again they took her into custody and charged her with the thefts. “When they were taking her out in handcuffs she said sorry for stealing but she didn’t have any emotion, she didn’t feel back” Duchan said.

A search of Mrs. Olivera’s bag revealed that in the short time she was working on Friday she already stashed two pairs of pants, a few children’s headbands and even food from her fridge.

Duchan also contacted her neighbor whom Olivera worked for as well, and she said that only makeup had been missing.

“Without proof of theft there is little that can be done,” said a Shomrim spokesperson. “This victim showed impressive initiative by setting up cameras and working together with us to put an end to these thefts.”

He added that “we have had unfortunate cases were cleaning ladies were wrongly accused of a theft, which turned out to be a misplaced item instead, therefore it is important to set up cameras if you suspect something is amiss.”

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35 Comments

  • 1. Crown Heights wrote:

    Please never let cleaning ladies alone in your bedroom unless you clean with them. Keep checking in on them as they clean. I try to do that even with a baby.

    Reply
    • 2. Max Yasger wrote:

      for at least 4 years, as i lived inn those attached bldgs on eny/kingston-the park, i had “Ruthie” taking care of my home…….. she NEVER, EVER, EVER touched anything she was not supposed to….RUTH NEVER EVER stole either money or any jewelry…..yea, she lost the key a few times….so what?…….I gave her the combo to the shabbos lock and never had a problem…..on occasion i would saute some fish and sit with her for a late lunch….. i would send her home with chulent, her son loves chulent…..i bought her a REALLY NICE winter coat AND i paid her a great deal more than we had originally agreed upon…… in return i had someone to come to the house even if i was not home, as i worked overnight into the morning if we were busy…….if i was asleep she would pass my room and come back and redo that room AND the whole apartment……………….THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE OUT THERE……YOU JUST HAVE TO LET THEM IN

    • 6. Pro cleaning help wrote:

      You’re obviously missing the whole point. A working mother who has her hands full with work and family needs some help, which is not wrong at all.

    • 7. Or be smart about it wrote:

      Excuse me, that is a very rude, judgmental comment. Many women need help with household chores, especially if they have young children, and especially if they work. Telling people not to hire help is not a solution. The moral of the story is to be vigilant when you have someone working in your home. Check their bags, install cameras etc.

    • 8. Dovie B wrote:

      If somebody were to get hit by a car would you say the moral of the story is to stay at home? And why is it the full responsibility of the ladies to clean the house, husband’s shouldn’t help out?

    • 11. R. Singer wrote:

      Andrea, exactly–I see my dear friend allowing her cleaning woman free reign all over the house & she said to me “I pay her well” as though kindness or generosity will shield her from such behavior. When do we learn?

    • 12. what a novel idea wrote:

      can you imagine ladies cleaning their own houses??
      and they might not even need the gym if they move around and have a work out in their own homes, Imagine that??

      And they might not have to buy another sweater, jacket, headband or whatever when they do their own house work simply because they will know where everything is.

      sadly at least 80% of people reading this comment have no clue what I am saying.

  • 13. Sara wrote:

    I know exactly what you went thru
    And my lady was with us for 3 years I also had her locked up with solid evidence

    Reply
  • 15. Hello wrote:

    I have a safe in my house and leave all valuables in there. To leave jewelry and cash and others things out is to tempting.

    Reply
  • 16. Crime wrote:

    “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime.”

    Reply
    • 17. Max Yasger wrote:

      THAT comment is disgusting………….for many years i managed, in one form or another, either dining room or banquet hall……………On my top list of people TO HIRE are ANYONE FROM MEXICO, PERU OR by the way CENTRAL AMERICA…..Thai or viet namese are also a plus……….these folk are honest and their work habits are number one, in my book…….speaking of a black book……….i ALWAYS had a black book of people that are of exceptional quality for future use olr as a referral ………. anyway

  • 20. to #12 wrote:

    not true
    there are many honest people
    life there is not always easy
    there is nothing wrong with trying to “make it” in a better place
    that is how most of our (great)-grandparents got here
    but you have to be honest
    and we need to be honest too and not generalize

    Reply
  • 21. Words to the wise wrote:

    I have found that the ones who are (too) smart and speak English well are the ones most likely to steal. If they are legal or educated they are not cleaning houses cuz they can’t get a better job; they are in it for the “extras” or will spend too much time out of sight, taking it easy.
    Make sure that their purses are kept in your sight and be wary of cleaning ladies who take out the garbage – especially if you didn’t ask them to or they’re new, or only coming for the day.

    Reply
    • 22. CH Resident wrote:

      (too)smart and speak English well legal educated are in it for the “extras”. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT. Sorry but Stop ASSuming

  • 23. C. H.er wrote:

    Better to have a cleaning lady and spend time with your kids. If having household help puts you in a state of mind that makes you available to your husband and children, go for it!
    Whether you work outside or not, if the cleaning lady ends up taking some valuables, but not damaging your MOST VALUABLE possessions, so be it
    (I am not condoning stealing, and not condoning being careless, just putting things into perspective)

    Reply
  • 25. home help wrote:

    I miss Roza. She was with me fir 10 years and I never had anything stolen. She left whatever she found down cushions on the table. She is still cleaning in CH (I don’t live there any more) and she is worth her weight in gold. Yes, I could clean better, but I didn’t want to, and there is no shame in paying someone to do it. Mothers today have enough to do.

    Reply
  • 27. Scary wrote:

    I had an excellent cleaning lady for 6 years.
    Before she left for Barbados she stole half my house.
    I finally figured it out, she took the stuff out in a big black garbage bag!
    Yes I was sure I could trust her, well you never know

    Reply
  • 29. Wandering Jew wrote:

    An honest mistake ???

    Perhaps there was a misunderstanding when the maid had boasted on her resume that she had experience in “cleaning out” other people’s homes.

    It is unfortunate that the homeowner “got taken to the cleaners”.

    ( ^5 @ #4 )

    Reply
  • 30. shlomo wrote:

    food? why she needs steal food if he works in the house? you do not feed her?
    btw. what camera model?

    Reply
  • 31. i keep on seeing a cleaning lady wrote:

    with pink and black sneakers taking out white garbge bag of clthes looks like shes coming out of crown condos she looks young and she was walking up kingston with her big white garbage bag!!

    Reply
    • 33. Max Yasger wrote:

      yes i gave keys and yes i gave house code as i knew this person BEFORE i allowed her into my home……….AND like EVERYONE else……….I AM a bissel meshuga………………YA GOTTA BELIEVE

  • 35. JENNIFER wrote:

    In my experience anyone and everyone will steal from you in subtle ways if you don’t pay enough I gave my cleaning lady $30 an hour. I only have her once every three months but I can’t even imagine cleaning my place (a one bedroom apartment) if someone gave me less than that.
    Always pay your staff over and above- make sure they get food to eat while they are there (food they would like meaning they may like Mexican food or Chinese) and I think you are less likely to have theft when you respect another human. A detective once told me- pay your staff well to buy loyalty.It has worked for me.

    Reply

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