Maid may have swept up more than just dirt

A house cleaner is accused of cleaning out jewelry from homes she was paid to tidy up.

Officers arrested Martha Quintero-Ramirez, 36, in Redwood City on Saturday on suspicion of burglary after catching her with stolen items from Palo Alto homes she cleaned, police said.

A homeowner told police that a theft occurred when the home was cleaned by a 20-year employee of the homeowner and a relatively newer employee, Quintero-Ramirez, who had been cleaning the home for less than two years. The victim told police that she noticed that money hidden in her closet was missing, along with six pieces of jewelry and two bottles of prescription medications.

A next-door neighbor, whose house was also cleaned by the duo, said a wedding ring and antique watch were missing from the home.

Police said their investigation led them to believe that Quintero-Ramirez was acting alone and that her partner had not known about the thefts or stolen anything herself.

Police say that Quintero-Ramirez also cleaned homes in Mountain View, Los Altos, San Carlos, San Mateo and Redwood City and that she may have been stealing from employers for more than a year.

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