A Filipino domestic helper in Singapore was on Tuesday (May 31) jailed for five months for stealing more than S$6,000 in cash from a piggy bank in her employer's home.
According to court documents, the overseas Filipino worker (OFW), 44-year-old Joann Desoloc Martinez, had removed money on multiple occasions from the piggy bank belonging to her employer's daughter using a tweezer.
Martinez was sentenced to five months' imprisonment after she pled guilty to her charge of theft-in-dwelling. Her jail sentence was backdated to take effect from her date of arrest, April 13, 2022.
State Prosecuting Officer Lam Peng Choy said in court documents that Martinez, who had been working for her 54-year-old Singaporean employer and her family since 2015, stole about S$6,211 (P237,000) in total from the victim's piggy bank between February 2019 and June 2021.
Martinez claimed that she could not recall the total number of occasions she stole from the piggy bank, but said that she stole sums of between S$50 to S$200 on each occasion.
The 20-year-old victim had saved cash in the form of coins and notes in her ceramic, bunny-shaped piggy bank since 2009.
The theft was discovered when the employer broke open the piggy bank in February 2022 and found only S$144 inside.
It was estimated that the piggy bank had contained a total of about S$6,355 in both coins and notes at the time it was opened.
Martinez would enter the victim's bedroom when she was alone in the house and fish out cash from the piggy bank using a tweezer.
The employer made a police report on April 9 and, following investigations, Martinez was arrested on April 13.
Investigations revealed that sometime in early 2019, Martinez claimed that she had financial difficulties as her family back in the Philippines required money for medical expenses.
She borrowed sums of money from her employer from time to time, totaling about S$10,000.
However, she claimed that the money was insufficient, so she decided to steal from the piggy bank.
After stealing the cash from the piggy bank, she remitted the money to her family in the Philippines over numerous occasions.
The stolen cash was not recovered and no restitution has been made to date.