What To Do When Your Maid Steals From You

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It was very sad that my Dad caught our maid stealing from him today. On 15th Apr evening, my dad had noticed that $100 was missing from his wallet when he went out for dinner with my mum. He withdrew $200 and that evening, he photocopied all the notes in his wallet.

This morning, when he checked his wallet, another $50 was missing. Nonetheless, he kept quiet and went off to work. After lunch, he withdrew another $100 and went home, photocopying the ‘new’ $100 that he had just withdrawn. To further confirm his suspicion, my dad put his keys on top of his wallet and did not close the drawer containing his wallet completely.

After changing out of his business attire, he took a business call in the living room for about 15 minutes. When he finished his call, my dad went back to his room and lo and behold, the drawer was completely shut. Upon opening the drawer, the keys that were right on top of his wallet was now slightly tipped off. Checking on the notes, another $50 note was now missing AND his access card to our condo was not in its usual spot.

My dad went to look for the maid and confronted her. She pleaded her innocence and even said to him that he could look into her wallet. This is when I came home from my medical appointment and lunch. My dad then asked me to be the witness. Opening up her wallet and taking out the notes, my dad promptly took out his photocopies and two of the $50 notes from her wallet matched the serial nos. of the notes in the photocopy.

With such glaring evidence, she still insisted that the $100 was from the salary which my mum paid her last month. Even when I asked her point blank, she still pleaded her innocence. My dad had asked her repeatedly to just admit that she stole the money and if so, he’d forgive her and not make any police report.

After 20 minutes, she still refused to admit and was still claiming that the money was from her salary. When my dad grew fed up, he just asked her to keep the money and he’d wait for my mum to return before deciding what to do with her. She then went to our yard, where again, I tried to make her confess by saying that my dad is really angry and he wants to make a police report. However, her response was, “Can send me back to the agent. It’s ok.”

Well, as an employer, there are 2 things you could do:

  1. Simply send your maid off to the agent and get her sent home
  2. File a police report under “Lost Property”

I think a lot of employers would choose option 1 because it seems like a lot less hassle plus we tend to feel a bit sorry for these domestic helpers who are here to earn a better living. However, we chose to go with option 2. You can file the police report online here and please get your SingPass ready.

Why did we choose to do so? Firstly, we did give her a lot of chances to admit. The whole 20 minutes of confrontation was really my dad going, “Just admit it and I will forgive you.” Secondly, since she gave up those chances to admit, she has to face the consequences and have a permanent record so that she will not be able to steal from another Singaporean family. Needless to say, a copy of the police report will be sent to the Ministry of Manpower. Thirdly, she was unrepentant. Her last statement about us just sending her back to the agent was very telling. To her, the worst that could happen is that she’s $100 “poorer” and then she’ll be sent home, after which she can come back to Singapore or go to another country to work. Lastly, this is to protect ourselves as a family so that our agent will also not accuse us of being fussy and wanting to change maids so often, as well as to ensure that the maid doesn’t try to come back and file a false complaint against us.

If you decide to go through the second option like we did, be prepared to make a thorough statement with the police for around 3-4 hours. They’ll call you within 1-1.5 hours after the report has been filed. As such, do not alert your maid that you’ve made the report but do get her packing in the meanwhile.

The police will call you and then either go to your house to take the statements and then make the arrest or like us, they’ll ask you to go down to the station with your maid. As mentioned above, do not alert your maid that you’re heading towards the station because she may then runaway. Make sure you bring all the evidence, her work permit and any other documents pertaining to her. My mum keeps a folder on all of our maids, including a spreadsheet with salary amounts and making them sign off once salary has been received. The police did make a copy of that.

If the maid stole from your wallet/cupboard etc, DO NOT touch it any more. The police will want to be able to do some forensics on these items if needed. In our case, it was not necessary because of my dad’s photocopy of the notes and the notes in her possession matches the serial nos.

What will then happen? If it is a true theft and the maid has been arrested, she will be placed in lock up. The next morning, the police will present the case to the Attorney General Chambers and there are 3 possible outcomes:

  1. She gets off with a warning and is allowed to remain in Singapore
  2. She gets off with a warning but will be repatriated
  3. She will be charged in court

For our now-former-maid, she was given a warning and was allowed to remain in Singapore. Thus, we had to pick her up from the station before sending her to the agent. Naturally, it is almost the same as outcome no. 2 because as an employer, we would not want to keep her in our employment and neither would any other family accept her. 

It was very sad for me to see her packing her bags because we actually quite liked her and this was the ultimate betrayal of our trust. My mum has often caught her telling white lies and had told her repeatedly that she should do things with a clear conscience. Looks like those words have fallen on deaf ears.

Everyone, theft is a crime not only in the eyes of the law but also against the person that you’re stealing from. Don’t be silly. It’s not worth it.

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