House Cleaner

Reporter: Mark Gibson

You expect cleaners to tidy up your house.. not check out your underwear, or rifle through your handbag. Kathy says "I really really was upset, you know I just burst into tears."Here's one cleaner who's really been cleaning up. Despite the denials, Paul has been caught on camera, stealing money intended for charity.

"I'm a hobby bee keeper and when we sell the honey the money goes to the Heart Foundation and the jar never seemed to get any fuller and it seemed to be going down and in one instance it seemed to be going down and I thought there's something amiss here and I said to Kath someone's pinching money in the house." Sonny and Kathy's home is fitted with security cameras.. there are warnings that you're being watched and filmed when you enter the house. Even so, here's Paul the cleaner, busted with his hand in the money jar. More than half a kilo of stolen cash, and he doesn't stop there.. Paul ventures inside Kathy's wardrobe. Here's the cleaner, rifling through Kathy's underwear drawer.. we'll spare you the full extent of what happens next.

This is a cleaner in New Zealand going through a wallet and pocketing the cash. After going to the toilet, he uses a bath towel to clean the seat.. and the shower.. before putting the towel back on the rail.And it's not just cleaners.. this tiler seems to like the home owner's undies.

"Within the first 3 or 4 months I kind of thought it was strange that my coin jars were not increasing at all." Nigel also trusted Paul. "I decided to count the 50 cents and the 20 cents out of the jars on the morning before he turned up and lo and behold when I recounted the same day after he'd left they were short." So, Paul's victims decided to confront him inside the house, with the cameras rolling again, showing him how he'd been caught on tape. Faced with the evidence, the cleaner confesses.. about the money.. and the underwear.

TAFE cleaning lecturer Dave Wood says trust is a major issue for homewowners. If you're hiring a cleaner, he recomemnds going through an agency.. and asking lots of questions. "Can you give me any references, do you police clear your people, are they competent, have they been reliable and all the rest of it, because they are entering your world." More and more homeowners are relying on internal cameras to protect their property and their rights, with good reason.

"You're something like 8 times less likely to have a criminal act in your home if you have a security camera installed." Jeremy Stewart from Swann Communiations says cameras can now be hidden in, sunglasses, watches, even pens. "There's a lot more cameras out there than you think and a lot of them are more powerful and actually smaller than before so there's more chance you'll be caught and you won't realise it."

The people fleeced by Paul are warning all homeowners. "I think you've just got to be so careful because you do put your trust in people and you think they're going to do the right thing by you, but you just never know what people are capable of."

If you'd like to share your own experiences, send us an email : tt@7perth.com.au