Maid sentenced in residential jewelry thefts Crimes & Incidents, posted by Editor, Palo Alto Online, on Apr 3, 2012 at 8:53 am
Luz Maria Garcia, a maid for "The Maids" home cleaning service in Redwood City, was sentenced on March 29 to six months in county jail and ordered to pay nearly $33,000 in restitution in three jewelry thefts that occurred between December 2009 and June 2010, including one in Menlo Park and another in Atherton.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 3, 2012, 8:15 AM
Posted by Sally, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm
This person entered the homes, gained trust, and stole Jewelry...some which may have been sentimental and irreplaceable. some Jewelry may have belonged to parents, grand parents, which are no longer alive.. some as a birthday / anniversary celebration. NO amount of money will replace that... Also she did it repeatedly..... excuse me.. she did it repeatedly.. she made a choice to steal..and then did it again, and again and again.. and 5 times more... it's crazy soft punishment for this type of intentionality.
Posted by musical, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm
This sounds more like a civil matter than a criminal case. I expect the cleaning service was insured or bonded, and it's the insurance company that should be taken to the cleaners. Maybe the perpetrator was 42, but hiring a low-wage person to be a servant an area with access to high-value pocketables is asking for trouble like having a child organize your candy shop. The agency or owner is responsible for their employees, which is why they have insurance and why premiums go up when mistakes are made. Six months in jail, 5 years probation, restitution and an arrest record is a reasonable sentence. Maybe the San Mateo County Mosquito Abatement district will hire her as an accountant when she gets out.
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm
How will this person ever "make restitution?" Seems like they are unlikely to have 33K available anytime soon to give to the victim.
I am rare among my neighbors as I do not have a maid service. So I don't know the answer on this. Aside from that, if the Maids company is licensed/bonded/insured, why doesn't that cover the theft so restitution from the criminal isn't needed - or is restitution really a fine for the crime (not that I am opposed to that-)
Posted by Steve C, a resident of Menlo Park, on Apr 3, 2012 at 11:23 pm
It may seem like a lenient sentence, but frankly, her economic life is toast from here on out. It's a life sentence, even though she isn't locked up. For those who are sure prison is the answer, but don't want to pick up the tab for incarcerating all those inmates($40-50 grand per year per inmate by most accounts), why don't you tell us what punishment you really, really want handed out?
Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford, on Apr 4, 2012 at 4:10 am
Far too lenient a sentence. So true what Sally said above. It is terrible to pay someone for their services, trust them in your home with your possessions, and have this happen. It is very, very common, especially among those cleaning or caring for the elderly; it has happened to various relatives of mine. Often the thefts aren't noticed until much later, when it is impossible to get items back.
To Surf: not everyone is capable of cleaning their homes. Yet you blithely blame the victims for the criminal actions of others. Even if able-bodied people choose to hire help (and thus providing jobs)--how can you condone criminal behavior?
Posted by Cindy, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2012 at 9:16 am
Surf - I object to your comment. Some people can't "get off their azzes". They are elderly and unable to clean their homes, mow their grass, etc. These people are particularly prone to con artists and thieves.
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2012 at 6:43 pm
Yes, some people cannot clean their homes nor mow their lawns. I witnessed my mom's maid steal, my mom and did tell my mother. She didn't seem to care, though she was missing a ring, she blamed this on her cat!
I'm waiting for the time they do go into her jewelry box and take more. I don't know what SHE is waiting for.
I wanted to put a camera in, but she won't allow it.
I do hope homeowners will put in cameras in their home, if not only to see what your housecleaners are stealing, but actually how they really do 'clean'. Yes, it is amazing how you will find what housekeepers use to wipe out a sink or tub.
Posted by Former "maid", a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2012 at 11:07 am
First of all, the agency she worked for should be bonded. Let them go after her for the restitution. Second, who missed the back ground check on these "independent contractors"? NEVER, EVER, leave the home while the maid is "working" there. If you hire someone to do work in your home....YOU are their Supervisor. Don't ever expose anything, of ANY value to their temptations.