SINGAPORE – Wanting to send money to her family in Indonesia, a maid took a gold necklace from her employer’s four-year-old daughter so that she could trade it for cash.
Sutini, who goes by one name, had noticed the jewellery on the child when she picked her up from the childcare centre.
She removed the necklace while the girl was at a playground in Tampines and later lied to her employer that it had gone missing there and that she was unable to find it.
Sutini, 41, was sentenced to five weeks’ jail on Friday after she pleaded guilty to three theft-related charges. Two other charges were taken in consideration.
State Prosecuting Officer Lam Peng Choy said that having obtained the necklace, Sutini passed it to another domestic helper, asking her to pawn the item for cash.
Her friend did so and obtained $320, which she gave to Sutini.
But on Nov 12, the friend told Sutini’s employer that she had pawned the necklace at a ValueMax pawnshop in Tampines Central 1. Court documents did not state why the other domestic helper decided to do so.
Sutini’s employer, a 42-year-old woman, reported the theft to the police that night.
Before this incident, Sutini had also stolen from the four-year-old’s father.
In October 2022, the domestic helper saw the man’s automated teller machine (ATM) card unattended in the master bedroom, in an unzipped bag on a table.
He had previously asked Sutini to take his card and withdraw money on his behalf, and had given her the PIN for her to do so.
On Oct 25, Sutini took the card and withdrew $400 from an ATM in Tampines Street 72. When the man discovered the next day that unauthorised transactions had been made, he asked her about them. She denied having any knowledge of the transactions, and he made a police report.
Following investigations, Sutini was arrested on Dec 1. She has since made full restitution to her victims.
Those who commit theft can be jailed for up to three years, fined or both. Those who steal from an employer in the capacity of a clerk or servant can be jailed for up to seven years and fined.