Palo Alto Police police have arrested a house cleaner on charges that she stole from two home owners after they found jewelry allegedly stolen from homes that she cleans.
Police on Tuesday said that they are now investigating whether Martha Quintero-Ramirez, 36, of Redwood City took from other employers on the Peninsula as well. She worked as part of a house cleaning team, and police have said Ramirez's partner has been cleared of any wrongdoing and is not considered a suspect.
Det. Sgt. Brian Philip said police were first tipped off to the burglary on Saturday just before 9 a.m. in the 700 block of Bryant Street. The home owner told police that she and her next door neighbor had both had their homes cleaned on Thursday by their usual house cleaners. A short time after the cleaning was finished on Friday, the first home owner said she noticed things in her closet were slightly out of place. She told police she looked further and discovered that money she had discreetly hidden just before Quintero-Ramirez's arrival was missing, as were six items of jewelry and two bottles of prescription medication.
She then phoned her next door neighbors, who use the same house cleaner. Those neighbors checked and and discovered that a wedding ring and an antique watch were missing. That couple then called a third Palo Alto woman who also uses the same house cleaner in the 1500 block of Castilleja Avenue. That woman discovered several pieces of jewelry and antique coins missing from her home. Those items had gone missing at some point over the past two months, but the woman thought she had simply misplaced the items.
Police ended up arresting Quintero-Ramirez on two counts of residential burglary, after they could not find any stolen property belonging to the first victim. In the cases of the other two home owners, police said they recovered a bracelet and jewelry from those two.
Anyone having information about these Palo Alto cases can contact our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.