El­derly pair dev­as­tated af­ter $ 22,000 theft Cou­ple cleaned out

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Nathan Paull nathan. paull@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

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.’’

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