Maid jailed for stealing $14k worth of jewellery
Although her employer's jewellery was kept inside padlocked safes, Jennifer Paran Gamboa managed to unlock them and pilfer almost $14,000 worth of gold bangles, necklaces and earrings.
She did so on five occasions between July 2017 and December last year, mostly when her employer and the family were overseas.
Yesterday, the Filipino domestic helper, 33, was jailed for eight months after she pleaded guilty to three counts of theft as a servant.
Another two similar charges were taken into consideration.
State Prosecuting Officer A. Majeed Yosuff told District Judge Samuel Chua that Gamboa started working for Ms Krithika Radhakrishnan, 48, in early 2017.
Staying with Ms Radhakrishnan and her family, Gamboa had free access to all the rooms in the condominium apartment, including her employer's bedroom, where an assortment of jewellery was kept in two standalone safes.
The bedroom was always left unlocked, but the two safes were secured with padlocks as the combination locks for both safes were faulty.
KEYS KEPT IN HANDBAG
The keys to the padlocks were kept in a locked wardrobe drawer, and the keys to that drawer were in turn kept in Ms Radhakrishnan's handbag.
Gamboa's first offence was in July 2017 when her employer and the family were on a three-week trip.
It is not clear how Gamboa unlocked the padlocks, but after stealing the jewellery, she pawned the pieces and remitted the ill-gotten proceeds to her family in the Philippines.
Her thefts came to light in September last year when Ms Radhakrishnan discovered some items were missing and made a police report.
Even then, Gamboa stole again in December last year, taking two earrings worth $180.
She was arrested on May 10 this year. In all, only $1,160 worth of stolen goods were recovered and no restitution has been made.
Without a lawyer, Gamboa said in mitigation that she was single mother with a daughter in the Philippines.
She added that she had to support her younger brother's three children as he had died in 2016 and help her mother pay for breast cancer treatment.
For each count of theft as a servant, she could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.