A 43-year-old domestic worker has been arrested for theft of jewellery valued at about R250, 000 after a Mount Edgecombe resident uncovered the crime when she found a jewellery item on the floor of her house, on Wednesday.

Members of Reaction Unit South Africa (RUSA) responded to the residence after the home owner called for assistance. RUSA head, Prem Balram, said, “A businesswoman contacted RUSA at approximately 7:55am on Wednesday morning after she discovered the theft estimated at almost R300, 000. She explained that the valuables were hidden in her bedroom cupboard for a period of three months and could not confirm exactly when it had been stolen.

“Reaction officers established that the victim had recently employed a domestic worker. RUSA members interviewed the woman who confirmed that she had stolen the jewellery and cash over a period of time. The stolen goods were sold to a Nigerian national who runs a Cash for Gold business in the Verulam CBD. He also allegedly paid her R8, 500 for 1, 000 US Dollars which she had also stolen.

“After further questioning, it was established that the suspect had four pieces of jewellery at her home in Waterloo, Verulam.
RUSA members proceeded to the residence where she handed over a woman’s Raymond Weil watch, two bangles and a gold neck chain. The Nigerian businessman was also interviewed and claimed to have no knowledge of the sale and stated that he had never seen the suspect before.

Reaction officers contacted the suspect’s previous employer who confirmed that she had stolen from their residence whilst she was employed as a domestic worker. She had been dismissed and not criminally charged at that stage,” Balram added. The woman was placed under arrest and detained at Phoenix SAPS.

Phoenix SAPS communications officer, Captain L Naidoo, confirmed the arrest and said, “The complainant alleges that on Wednesday at 5:30am, she was at her place of residence when she noticed a piece of gold jewellery on the floor. The complainant then checked the draw where the jewellery is kept and found that both the boxes were empty. She then called the domestic worker and asked her if she saw the jewellery.

“The owner informed the domestic worker that she is the only other person in the house. The domestic worker then admitted that she stole the jewellery and sold it to a pawn shop owner. At the pawn shop, the owner denied that he had purchased jewellery from the domestic worker. The domestic worker further admitted to having other pieces of jewellery at her place of residence. A case of Theft was registered at SAPS Phoenix and the domestic worker was arrested and appeared in court.” Phoenix Community Police Forum chairman, Umesh Singh, said, “This kind of thieving yet again highlights why it is imperative for employers to request for traceable references and call to confirm employment thereof. In this way employers would be able to determine the authenticity of the employee and avoid falling victim to such criminals. We have to be very careful who we entrust to enter our homes where we house our family and possessions.”