Elderly pair devastated after $ 22,000 theft Couple cleaned out
AN elderly couple with a distrust for banks had $ 22,000 hidden in their Mount Louisa home before it was allegedly stolen by their cleaner.
The couple, aged 72 and 76, reported the theft on Tuesday and police searched the cleaner’s home that night and allegedly recovered $ 10,600 of the stolen cash.
Officers do not yet know where the rest of the money is.
Townsville District Property Crime Unit of f i cer-i n-charge Detective Senior-Sergeant Jason Shepherd said the cleaner, a 27-year-old woman, was charged with entering premises with intent and stealing.
She is scheduled to appear in court shortly.
Sen-Sgt Shepherd said the number of people stashing cash in their homes was concerning.
‘‘ There have been other occasions this year where people have had large amounts of cash stolen from their homes,’’ he said.
‘‘ Whether they keep it in their homes because they mistrust banks or financial institutions or, unfortunately, some people leave cash inside their homes to avoid Centrelink or the taxation issues, it creates a security issue.
‘‘ Ultimately, the tax office will take about a third of your income, but an offender will take all of it and that’s the risk they take by leaving a large amount of money in their home.’’
Sen-Sgt Shepherd said leaving large amounts of cash in the home made it easier for people to take advantage of them, as was displayed in the latest case.
‘‘ People think they can trust people coming into their home and on this occasion the cleaner unfortunately ( took the cash),’’ he said.
‘‘ People may have financial problems due to gambling addictions or drug habits and they’ll do things they may not normally do and they’ll misuse that trust.
‘‘ It may not be them personally who will take the money, but they may tell somebody risk.’’
Sen-Sgt Shepherd said the $ 10,600 already recovered would go back to the victims, while the rest of the $ 22,000 would be pursued through the court system.
Sen-Sgt Shepherd said the money was not stored securely in a safe and police encouraged the couple to deposit the cash in a bank when it was returned to them.
‘‘ It was left in a spot where it was easily accessible,’’ he said.
‘‘ They’ve noticed it missing and because of their age, they don’t have a lot of visitors, so there was no sign of a break and enter and there was only one person who was legitimately in their home at the time.’’