Police warn lock up valuables after cleaner escapes jail

POLICE are urging people to ensure the safety of their valuables in their own home, especially if they have cleaners or carers regularly in their home.

The warning comes after a Maryborough woman escaped spending any time in jail for stealing jewellery from four elderly or ill women in the Maryborough region in July and August this year.

Teena Maree Ansell, 51, was sentenced in Maryborough Magistrates Court on Tuesday to a six month suspended jail term for taking the items from the women's home while she cleaned.

Maryborough police Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Acting Sergeant Brett Everest said everyone should be mindful when people came into their home.

"These people took the right precautions in that they used a reputable organisation," he said.

Those who were hire cleaners and carers privately should ensure they take references as well as conducting criminal history background checks which can be done for a small fee.

Sgt Everest said people should be ensuring jewellery and wallets were not left in plain sight.

"They just need to know where their jewellery is and lock away their valuables at all times," he said.

"In this case the reason we were able to identify the first ring quickly was because she had a valuation done," he said.

However, Sgt Everest said Ansell's thefts were isolated incidents and residents should not be fearful. More information on securing items and your home can be found at mypolice.qld.gov.au.



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