Cleaning lady cleaned out customers

A 53-year-old Sooke woman faces fraud charges after she allegedly stole and used personal cheques from a Saanich home she was hired to clean.

  • Feb. 8, 2011 1:00 p.m.

A 53-year-old Sooke woman faces fraud charges after she allegedly stole and used personal cheques from a Saanich home she was hired to clean.

But Saanich police say there may be more people in the Capital Region who have employed the woman through her house cleaning business and unknowingly fell victim.

“It’s taken (financial crimes investigators) some time to do bank record searches, but they suspect there’s more than one victim out there,” Sgt. Dean Jantzen said.

Pauline Marjorie Francis, currently faces one count of fraud and one count of uttering forged documents. More charges are being considered.

She was released Friday with conditions that she not clean any private residence, not collect money for cleaning residences and not advertise cleaning services.

Jantzen advised residents to take extra steps when hiring someone to do work inside your home, including asking for references and trusting your instincts.

“Make sure that items (that could be) easily taken and used fraudulently — like credit cards, identification, personal cheques, etc. — are safely put away,” he said.

To speak with an officer in the Saanich police financial crimes unit, call 250-475-4321.

To report a crime and remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers at: 1-800-222-TIPS. You never have to give your name.

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