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Housecleaner charged with theft in Saanich, West Shore

A housecleaner who allegedly stole a Wal-Mart gift card off a kitchen counter she was cleaning faces a theft charge, after the homeowners conducted their own detective work when the item went missing.

Saanich police were first contacted by the residents, who live in the 1000-block of Nicholson St., on Aug. 13 after looking into their missing gift card.

After the card disappeared on Aug. 9, the victim obtained the receipt from the initial purchase of the gift card, and was able to trace the purchases on the card with the assistance of Wal-Mart.

“As the victim suspected, the card had been emptied at the Wal-Mart, the same day it went missing,” said Sgt. Dean Jantzen.

Police were notified and were able to obtain video surveillance from the cash register where the card was last used.

The victims identified the purchaser in the video as the cleaning lady.

Saanich police arrested Rita Visser, a 47-year-old Saanich woman,  last week. She faces one count of theft under $5,000.

Crown charged Visser with theft under $5,000 in March of this year after a West Shore RCMP investigation for a similar incident in View Royal in October 2011.

“We had a report that Visser, in the role of a housekeeper, had taken something from a residence,” said RCMP acting Sgt. Kathy Rochlitz.

“There’s no connection between the two (incidents), other than the circumstances are exactly the same,” Jantzen added.

Visser’s next court appearance is Sept. 27.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

 

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