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  #1  
Old 12-26-2005, 11:38 AM
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Default Cleaning lady steals from me -- can I go to the cops?

Short story ... cleaning lady steals cash and clothes from my home. We have concrete proof -- she is on video at Nordstrom using the gift card she stole from me. All told, she stole about $1,000.

When confronted, she admitted she stole the gift card (she had no choice) but denied everything else. Said she'd repay the gift card ($200), paid the first $100 and then I never heard from her again.

I would love to go to the cops, but I am concerned because (a) we always paid her by cash/check made out to "cash", never withheld taxes, and never issued a 1099; and (b) it's remotely possible (though unlikely) that she is an illegal (we never asked).

Am I exposing myself to trouble if I go to the cops? Or can I go to them and not have anything to worry about?

PS please don't tell me it's only $1000 and I should just drop it, if I don't have anything to worry about. This woman violated the sanctity of my house, went through my drawers, took all of my wife's summer clothes, blah blah blah. Every month we seem to find something else missing. She needs to feel the rigid penal code.

One last piece of important information -- she's not hot.
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2005, 11:43 AM
handsome handsome is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning lady steals from me -- can I go to the cops?

[ QUOTE ]

One last piece of important information -- she's not hot.

[/ QUOTE ]

That was your first mistake.
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2005, 11:57 AM
deacsoft deacsoft is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning lady steals from me -- can I go to the cops?

The thing here may be that it's not $1,000 in the cops/courts eyes. You only have proof of $200 ($100 of which she payed back). So taking into consideration the veiw of the law, the real question is it it worth it for $100? I'd take a pass on that but that's up to you.
Secondly, the pay thing could come up but you're not the one on trial here. It could harm your credibility if you take it all the way to trial, but I'd think it wouldn't get that far. If it did it's remotely possible that the court could come after you for it but I find that very unlikely.
The best thing you can do, if your seriously entertaining the idea of going after her, is seek out a lawyer and a free consultation to see what your options are, your likelyhood of winning and what, and the possible consequences.
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  #4  
Old 12-26-2005, 12:06 PM
rusellmj rusellmj is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning lady steals from me -- can I go to the cops?

Cops don't do taxes. Like Deac said, it's about how much you can prove. If she was using a stolen credit card then there would be alot more trouble for her. Not sure where a gift card comes in here.
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  #5  
Old 12-26-2005, 12:08 PM
Paluka Paluka is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning lady steals from me -- can I go to the cops?

I would go to the cops.
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  #6  
Old 12-26-2005, 12:46 PM
tonypaladino tonypaladino is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning lady steals from me -- can I go to the cops?

It can't hurt to file a report with the cops, but I doubt much will come over it. It's petty theft since there's only proof she stole $200.

Edit:

And I'm not sure how the video from the store is proof. Does the camera get so close that you can actually see the numbers on the gift card to prove it was yours? Or can they actually sync up their register journal with the video?
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  #7  
Old 12-26-2005, 12:50 PM
IggyWH IggyWH is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning lady steals from me -- can I go to the cops?

[ QUOTE ]
PS please don't tell me it's only $1000 and I should just drop it, if I don't have anything to worry about.

[/ QUOTE ]

That's exactly what I'm saying. While she actually did the bad deed, YOU are also resonsible. You hired her, and you obviously don't know much about her from your post.

Be more careful when hiring someone like this that can go and do anything in your house. Your lucky it wasn't worse, and with only $200 stolen goods "proof", just take this as a lesson learned and move on.
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  #8  
Old 12-26-2005, 12:58 PM
HopeydaFish HopeydaFish is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning lady steals from me -- can I go to the cops?

So you decided to save some money by hiring an illegal alien, and now you're upset that it blew up in your face.

What are you hoping to get out of going to the cops? Most likely she'll get a slap on the wrist and then get deported. A few weeks later she'll be back in the country. You won't get your $1000 back, and you might end up opening yourself up to more trouble due to your hiring of an illegal and not remitting her taxes.

Consider the $1000 a lesson learned and go on with your life.
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  #9  
Old 12-26-2005, 01:39 PM
Blarg Blarg is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning lady steals from me -- can I go to the cops?

The fact that immigration might get involved looks like a NEGATIVE to you? Wow. We don't need our own crooks, much less those from other countries. Getting her deported would be a boon and at least for a while keep her from stealing from her next employer, which of course is exactly what she will do for as many years as she can do it.

As said above, cops don't do taxes.

As said above also, you're primarily chasing the $100. If you pursue this, it's on a moral basis. In that case I think it's more immoral not to pursue it than to pursue it, so you have "right" on your side. Especially pertinant to your doing the right thing is that whether the courts recognize the other part of the thousand she stole or not, she did indeed steal it, so she's not just a minor thief here and it's not really just about a hundred bucks at all.

So the question basically is whether you will lose any money trying to get this prosecuted, and whether it is worth it to you. Spending any time in court at all could easily cost you much more than $100, and courts can't really force her to pay even if she is convicted. So it's about right and wrong more than money, because the money is basically forever gone. If right and wrong is important to you even if it costs you money, your decision is a clear one. If you want to be practical but maybe shirk both your right and perhaps your moral duty, pursuing this thing is just going to cost you more time and money and in the parlance of a certain card game not to be mentioned, is "throwing good money after bad."

Personal/community obligations/moral or practical. Unfortunately you can't accomplish both here.
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  #10  
Old 12-26-2005, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: Cleaning lady steals from me -- can I go to the cops?

[ QUOTE ]
It can't hurt to file a report with the cops, but I doubt much will come over it. It's petty theft since there's only proof she stole $200.

Edit:

And I'm not sure how the video from the store is proof. Does the camera get so close that you can actually see the numbers on the gift card to prove it was yours? Or can they actually sync up their register journal with the video?


[/ QUOTE ]

It's actually pretty incredible. Nordstrom has their stuff all synched up. They have on video every purchase, and they can identify the gift card used at any purchase. I have no doubts that their video is fine evidence. It would have been highly, highly coincidental that we asked them about gift card number 1, and they pulled out the supposed video for that gift card and it was this battle axe buying something.
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