Maid sentenced for jewelry thefts | April 4, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - April 4, 2012

Maid sentenced for jewelry thefts

by Dave Boyce

Luz Maria Garcia, a maid for "The Maids" home cleaning service in Redwood City, was sentenced on March 29 to six months in county jail and ordered to pay nearly $33,000 in restitution in three jewelry thefts that occurred between December 2009 and June 2010, including one in Menlo Park and another in Atherton, prosecutors said.

In February, on the morning her trial was to begin, Ms. Garcia pleaded no-contest to one count each of grand theft and possession of stolen property, according to Steve Wagstaffe, San Mateo County district attorney.

In sentencing Ms. Garcia, Criminal Presiding Judge Craig Parsons denied her request for home detention instead of jail, prosecutors said.

In addition to paying restitution of $3,940, $15,884 and $13,084 to the three victims, Ms. Garcia, 42 and a resident of East Palo Alto, will be subject to five years of supervised probation, counseling, DNA registration, fines totaling $420, and the loss of her Fourth Amendment rights regarding search and seizure by police, prosecutors said.

The judge gave her one day's credit for time already served and ordered her remanded to jail. She had been out of custody on $50,000 bail.

According to the prosecutor's report, she stole a $4,200 diamond ring and gold earrings from a jewelry box in a Belmont residence; two pairs of gold earrings and a pair of blue topaz earrings from a Menlo Park residence; and gold earrings, a gold necklace decorated with diamonds and other jewelry from a resident of Atherton.

Ms. Garcia also admitted to stealing jewelry from five other homes while working as a maid, but prosecutors did not file charges, Mr. Wagstaffe said. The victims were not identified in those cases.

Ms. Garcia sold much of her take to jewelry stores in the area, prosecutors said.