Home Carroll County House Cleaners Sentenced For Theft From Hampstead Homeowners

House Cleaners Sentenced For Theft From Hampstead Homeowners

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Information from The Office of the State’s Attorney for Carroll County on January 26th:

Karen L. Stonesifer, 65 years old from Hampstead, and Karen Susan E. Pinder, 65 years old from Manchester, were sentenced at a hearing on Tuesday, January 23, 2024 by Circuit Court Judge Thomas S. Stansfield after being found guilty of  felony theft with a value over $1,500 but less than $25,000 on November 13, 2023, for stealing money from the home of a Hampstead couple while performing house cleaning services.

On May 11, 202,3 Deputy First Class Remmers of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office responded to the victims’ residence in Hampstead for the report of a theft. Upon arrival, he met with the male victim, who advised that he had between $1,500 and $2,000 cash stolen from his residence on May 3, 2023 and suspected his house cleaners, Karen Stonesifer and Susan Pinder, were responsible due to the fact that he noticed the money missing from the drawer he kept it in after they left the house.

After that incident, the victims had their daughter install two surveillance cameras within the home covering the areas where the victims kept their cash. Then on May 10, 2023, Pinder and Stonesifer came to the victims’ home to complete their weekly cleaning. The victims left the residence, leaving the cleaners by themselves, and then watched the house from afar to ensure nobody else entered from the time the cleaners arrived to when they left.

After Pinder and Stonesifer left, the male victim checked the kitchen drawer, which was one of the locations containing cash, and determined $810 was missing. He then checked his bedroom dresser where his wife placed $5,500 before she left that day and noticed $2,440 was missing. The couple then checked the surveillance cameras that captured still photos showing both Stonesifer and Pinder going through both drawers which contained the money and laying the money out of the bed after going through the bedroom drawer.

Deputy Remmers interviewed both Stonesifer and Pinder, at which time Stonesifer admitted that she took money from the dresser, but refused to admit she took all $2,440 and that the $810 missing must have been taken by Pinder. Pinder denied having taken any money despite being shown the still photo of herself going through the drawer.

Judge Stansfield sentenced Stonesifer to 5 years of imprisonment with all but 90 days suspended, along with 3 years of supervised probation and ordered her to pay restitution in the amount of $2,440 (Stonesifer paid all of the amount save $19 on the day of sentencing).  Pinder was sentences to 5 years of imprisonment with all of it suspended, along with 3 years of supervised probation and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service. The Court noted on the record that Pinder had already paid $810 in restitution as of the date of sentencing.

In their victim impact statement to the Judge Stansfield, the couple noted that Stonesifer had been a friend of the family for over 30 years and was employed by them for her professional cleaning service for the past 15 years. The couple had referred her several clients and even used her as a pet sitter on occasions when they traveled and needed someone to look after their dogs. She had a key to their home and was even trusted to come by and collect payment for her services, which was always left on the counter for her, sometimes accompanied by a gift from the couple’s trip, a friendly note, and at holidays, an extra tip.  At sentencing, the couple addressed the Court and implored Judge Stansfield, “Don’t let these felons do this again, Your Honor.”

The Office of the State’s Attorney for Carroll County was represented by Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Allan Culver and was investigated by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.  Carroll County State’s Attorney Haven Shoemaker commented, “These days you can’t be too careful, when you let someone into your home to clean it, care for your pets, or do repairs, you should take precautions and lock up cash and any valuables to avoid becoming a victim.”

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