Former cleaning woman sentenced for jewelry thefts

June 26, 2014
Theresa M. Young leaves Washington County Courthouse Thursday. - Barbara S. Miller / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

A woman who cleaned houses for a living but admitted to also cleaning out her clients’ jewelry boxes to the tune of $15,000 was ordered to report to the county jail next Thursday to begin serving a sentence of at least four months.

Theresa M. Young, 39, of Vine Street, Canonsburg, was charged with stealing jewelry that included heirlooms from homes in Peters, Cecil and North Strabane townships. A pre-sentence report showed she was battling an addiction to pain pills after 11 years of sobriety, and she also had lost custody of her children.

The most recent victim to come forward, Marie Garlitz, notified Young’s former employer, MaidPro, last month that four rings were missing from her home. They were sold at a Bethel Park resale shop.

Garlitz testified in court that she didn’t own many valuables, and Young likely doesn’t realize “the impact it had on me personally. I can’t replace the sentimental value of the things she took. I raised three kids by myself while working full time. I know how tough things can be.”

She told the judge she did not want to see Young incarcerated. Assistant District Attorney Jerome Moschetta acknowledged Garlitz’s merciful feelings but urged the judge to impose jail time.

Assistant Public Defender Christopher Sherwood noted Young, who was tearful at the hearing, cooperated with investigators, and he requested probation or electronic home monitoring for her.

Judge Gary Gilman sentenced Young to spend at least four months in jail, followed by a year’s probation if she completes her sentence with good behavior; required her to submit to an evaluation for drug and alcohol abuse and have no contact with her victims; and ordered her to reimburse Garlitz for the $227 she spent in having her locks changed.

MaidPro or its insurance company reimbursed the company’s clients. According to the company’s website, each MaidPro office is independently owned and operated.

In one case, a Cecil Township couple was able to buy back their diamond engagement ring, wedding ring, bracelet and diamond earrings, stolen in mid-September, before they were shipped out of a cash-for-gold operation. In exchange for nearly $15,000 in jewelry, Young told police she received just $842 from the gold exchange.

Young also was charged in Mt. Lebanon with stealing two wedding bands worth about $400 and stealing Vicodin from a home she was cleaning in Mt. Lebanon last July 15. That theft charge was reduced to a summary count of disorderly conduct, Moschetta said.

Barbara S. Miller covers politics, Washington County government and a variety of other topics for the Observer-Reporter. She is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, majoring in English and history. Follow her on Twitter @reporterbarb.

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