Homeowners ripped off by cleaners

December 16, 2009 3:55:25 PM PST
Is it a crime or a coincidence? Police say they noticed a pattern unfolding in homes in Monsey at the end of October. In each situation there was a link to these women, a connection detectives warn could be more widespread then they know.

Investigators say five women, all cleaning ladies, had access to not only homes, but to thousands of dollars worth of jewelry inside, that kept mysteriously disappearing.

Ramapo police say an informant helped them get these photos, which were then shown to homeowners who had filed burglary reports.

Each time, the victim's recognized the ladies as the person who cleaned their house, but the trail ends there.

Police don't know where to find the women, their names, or to what extent they are involved with the crimes.

"Whether someone else is coming in while they're there unbeknownst to the cleaning person and the homeowner, possibly that's happening or they are possibly working with someone else who's taking the jewelry," said one police officer.

Investigators say the women are not linked to one particular cleaning service, but rather they are referred to clients by word of mouth, making it even tougher to track them down.

"If my friend has used this person for many years, my friend is not going to stake her reputation on this as a neighbor and that goes into the equation of trust, loyalty and friendship of your neighbor," said Abe Weintraub.

Investigators believe these women live in Rockland County and that other home owners have been targeted, but have just not yet connected the dots.