A retirement village set up an elaborate hidden-camera sting to catch one of its workers, after residents complained that they had lost thousands of dollars.
The undercover trap caught out care worker Denise Neal, 51, who worked at The Poynton in Takapuna between 2012 and 2014 in a role of “utmost trust”, on call for elderly residents during the night.
Court documents show retirement village bosses became suspicious when nearly $4000 went missing over 15 months from people who lived in the spacious, upmarket apartments. But there was no evidence as to the identity of the culprit.
At the end of July last year, managers turned to Scope Investigations, which set up several hidden cameras in the flats of absent residents.
In one room they even left two $10 bills under a fruit bowl to lure the thief.
Over a week, the footage caught Neal entering three of the apartments – using her master key – and snooping around, opening bags and checking diaries.
She often used a torch or the light from her cellphone so as not to cause alarm. The covert cameras even filmed her putting on blue plastic gloves while she scoured the rooms.
And she did not miss the $20 bait, which she was shown scooping up and putting in her pocket.
People will write off one occurrence of money going missing, perhaps two, but when it keeps happening, the thief is on a a slippery downward slope. Read more »