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Lengthy investigation leads to arrest of hotel maid for theft

This blog has posted a number of stories about people violating a position of trust for personal gain, such as bookkeepers, office managers and salespersons. A recent arrest demonstrates that even hotel housekeepers can face criminal charges for taking advantage of access to the property of hotel guests.

The case began in September 2013 when a guest at the Springhill Suites in Moosic reported that items of jewelry were missing from her room. Police examined electronic records from the hotel's key card access system and discovered that one of the hotel's housekeepers had entered the room on three different days, including one day on which she was not scheduled clean the room. The missing items included rings, earrings, necklaces and charms made from gold, silver, diamonds and other precious metals.

Police next checked the North East Pennsylvania Precious Metals Data Base and found that the suspected thief sold 20 items of jewelry to four stores in the Scranton area for about $1,500. An examination of transaction records from the three jewelry stores linked the housekeeper to the sales. The woman who reported the jewelry missing was able to positively identify several of the allegedly stolen items as her property. The suspect was arrested on Dec. 15, 2015 and charged with several felonies, including burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal trespass. The woman was on probation for a previous criminal incident and was incarcerated in Lackawanna County Prison on $10,000 bail.

While the evidence in this case might seem conclusive, the defendant is entitled to be presumed innocent unless and until she is proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Anyone facing felony charges may benefit from consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can provide a helpful evaluation of the charges in the case, the evidence, potential defense strategies and an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or outright acquittal.

Source: Scranton Times-Tribune, "Former hotel housekeeper facing burglary charges," Jeff Horvath, Dec. 17, 2015

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