Struggling to pay off her debts, a domestic helper stole nearly $10,000 worth of cash and jewellery from her previous employer.
But Yati, who goes by one name, was only arrested after returning to work in Singapore for a new household less than six months after she was sent back to Indonesia, Shin Min Daily News reported.
The 41-year-old was sentenced to 15 weeks’ jail on Wednesday (Sept 22).
According to the Chinese evening daily, the court heard that Yati started working for a family living in Joo Chiat in April 2019 on a monthly salary of $650.
Facing harassment from illegal lenders after borrowing money on her friends’ behalf in early 2020, the maid decided to steal from her 65-year-old female employer.
According to investigations, Yati had nicked cash and jewellery from her employer’s bedroom and in other areas of the apartment while doing housework from Jan to Dec 2020. The combined worth of the valuables – which included gold and jade ornaments – was around $4,650.
After discovering some of the missing items in the maid’s bedroom on Dec 19, 2020, the employer decided to terminate her contract. Yati later admitted to the theft and was sent back to Indonesia.
The employer only called the police after discovering that the maid had also stolen $2,675 from her son and $920 worth of cash and jewellery from another family member.
Yati was arrested on Aug 25 after returning to Singapore this May to work for another household.
The court heard that besides the stolen valuables that were found in the maid’s bedroom, some of the pawned items were also recovered.
In mitigation, Yati said that she is a single mother who is the sole breadwinner in her family, adding that she wished to remain in Singapore to work.
The prosecution had called for a jail term between four and six months, saying that not only had the maid betrayed her previous employer’s trust, but she also did not make any compensation.
A family member of Yati’s previous employer said that the victim had only called the police after much persuasion from her family.
He also revealed the family did not dare to hire a new maid ever since that incident.
The unnamed family member added that they alerted the police because they were worried that another household would fall prey to the maid’s misdeeds.