Maid who stole jewellery worth $17,000 from employer jailed for seven months

Singapore - A domestic helper who wanted to foot her father's medical bills in the Philippines stole from her employer's jewellery stash over 10 months, taking items that amounted to $17,000.

On Monday (June 11), Balisi Shirely Martirez, 38 was sentenced to seven months' jail on three counts of theft. Another four similar offences were taken into consideration.

The court heard that Martirez, a Filipino, had been working for Ms Tan Siew Kim, a lawyer, for four years. Last December, she decided to steal a diamond pendant with a white chain valued at $3,000 from her employer's master bedroom to pay for her father's medical bills. It is not known what illness her father suffers from.

She again stole from Ms Tan in March this year, sneaking away three gold bracelets worth $6,000. She also stole a chain with a green stone pendant valued at $1,500 and a pair of $2,500 diamond earrings on April 25.

Further investigations showed that Martirez began stealing from Ms Tan last July and continued to do so over 10 months, stealing $17,000 worth of jewellery. She pawned most of these pieces for cash at Maxi Cash shops.

Her offences were discovered only when Ms Tan was browsing through her jewellery collection on May 3 and found most of the pieces missing.

Martirez also faced charges for another unrelated theft - of a $300 Seiko watch.

All the items Martirez stole have been recovered.

For stealing from her employer, Martirez could have been jailed up to seven years and fined.