Police say housekeeper stole from elderly family member
NEW SCOTLAND — In July 2013, an elderly New Scotland woman reported several pieces of jewelry worth over $3,000 missing from her home. On April 8, nine months later, her step-granddaughter was arrested for the theft.
Jennifer L. Do, 34, of New Scotland, pawned some of the missing jewelry at a pawn shop in Albany, according to the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. The case was left open and investigators from the Criminal Investigations Unit continued to routinely check pawn shops in Albany and Troy, said Chief Deputy Kerry Thompson.
“We have a good relationship with pawn-shop owners,” he said.
Do, who works as a housekeeper, had visited the Albany pawn shop numerous times between September 2013 and her arrest on April 8, but, until one of her step-grandmother’s items showed up with her name attached, the investigators had nothing to connect her with the crime, Thompson said.
The piece, described as a unique item by Thompson, was identified by a description given by the victim. In many cases of jewelry theft, the pieces can be identified by photographs, which are typically required when insuring expensive items.
Do had pawned many other pieces of jewelry at this location, but was unwilling or unable to tell investigators where they came from, Thompson said.
Do was charged with third-degree grand larceny, a felony; she was arraigned in Westerlo Town Court and released under supervision of probation.
Before her arrest, Do was a “person of interest,” but not a suspect, said Thompson, adding that family members are routinely questioned in these types of crimes along with anyone else who would have access to the location of the theft.
Thompson said that theft among family members “happens regularly,” and the elderly are particularly vulnerable because many of them have lots of items, making it easier for a thief to go unnoticed.
He also explained that all people, not just the elderly, should “use discretion and know who they’re allowing in their home.” Thompson advises people to call references listed for any housekeeper or other home employee and also obtain an online background check on them.
“These are the people who are supposed to be taking care of [the elderly],” Thompson said, “and instead they’re taking from them.”