Chesterfield homeowner says cleaning woman also cleaned out her jewelry

Posted at 11:40 PM, Feb 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-13 23:40:49-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Linda Bartlett says she just needed some help taking care of a family member who had been in and out of the hospital.

So she logged on to Craigslist for a cleaning lady. Unfortunately, Bartlett claims, along with the polishing came pilfering.

"That's life,” the Chesterfield woman said, never thinking that asking for help would come at such a steep price.  "I've learned an expensive lesson."

Bartlett says she hired Sandra Palffy from the website to help her around her home on Homeland Court.

"She was actually helping herself greatly," said Bartlett. And police agree, saying the woman was swiping jewelry.

Investigators say among the jewelry they recovered were pieces that did not belong to Bartlett. That makes them believe more victims are out there, perhaps even reading this.

Bartlett says she about $30,000 worth of jewelry is missing. Some of the pieces belonged to her mom and an aunt who have both died.  She says their sentimental value that far exceeds anything a pawn shop would pay.

"You have someone come into your house that you think you can trust,” said Bartlett Friday. “I mean, she has a daughter. I feel bad for her.  What's this teaching her?"

Bartlett says she's been taking care of a sick family member and had no clue rings, pendants and necklaces had disappeared until she went to get dressed for work and her jewelry box was missing a lot of gold.

"I haven't been dressing up.  I’ve had my hands in bed pans, potty stools and taking care of sick people,” she said. “I realized a lot was gone and she was the only one in the house."

Chesterfield police are asking anyone reading this who may have hired Palffy to call them.