Well, its been a long time since this event happened and I haven't been able to talk about it legally until the other day, I stewed for awhile about whether or not to write something about it but felt in the end it was important even if it just helped one person, so here it goes.
Last October we hired a babysitter to help me from 3-7p Mon-Thursday, mainly to help with driving the kids to and from activities and dinner if I'm unable to get home on time with the other kids. We have had a number of sitters over the years and they all have been very successful and wonderful and we have found them through various sources. This time I found her MS I'll call her on sittercity. I didn't have a lot of responses given that the job wasn't even considered part time and the others weren't the best even though for college students it should of been fine, but MS was good, she was energetic ( to a point) eager to work and had a good resume of working with children. Her background check with sitter city was good and her references checked out. My husband and I interviewed her for over 2hrs and the kids met her and liked her. She was able to start fairly quickly after leaving another job but said the family was aware she was looking for more hours and was actively looking to leave. Needless to say ( I'll cut to the chase) for the 5 weeks MS worked for me she took a total of 8 days off for various reasons, she was incompetent from the day she started and I fired very quickly. I could list all the things she sucked at but it would take forever, she made my life harder and the kids and I didn't really like her. Enough said. 3 days after I fired her I noticed that all of my jewelry was stolen, except for a few things I wear on a daily basis everything was gone.
I filed a police report the next day and within a few days found out indeed it was her that had pawned all of my jewelry. It took several weeks of talking with her and the police and her working with them to have her finally admit her guilt and be arrested. She was arrested on 3 counts of felony larceny and 1 count of obstruction of justice.
After MS left my employment she actually found another job in Peabody with another family as a babysitter through sitter city and stole from that family as well, she was arrested within 2 weeks of employment with that family.
It took over 10 months but finally the court system prevailed and we went to court last Thursday and she pleaded guilty to all 4 counts and was given 3yrs of strict probation and multiple things she needed to abide by ( I won't get into it). We did find out that drugs were an issue and was probably the main reason for her stealing but in her very short time with me I wouldn't of thought that yet on hindsight her behavior was definitely conducive to a drug addict.
Anyhoo, I was a little bummed she didn't get jail time for her crimes given the amount of money she stole from us but because it was her first offense the judge was a bit lenient, however if she broke probation in anyway she would go to jail for a long time. That made me feel better but I still felt that she needed to know how she impacted all of our lives and that I didn't think that her behavior was going to change unless she went to jail. Oh well, that wasn't going to happen.
I left the courthouse last week feeling okay about the results but still pissed off that she didn't go to jail.
Well, only a little time passed when I got a phone call today from the assistant district attorney who said she was arrested today 9/11/12 for shop lifting in Peabody, for a measly pair of $40 earrings. She will be held in jail for 2 weeks until her hearing. Can you believe it, it didn't take her even a week before she committed another crime, if that doesn't scream out " help me" I don't know what does. I hope she goes away to jail for a long time.
What I learned:
1. I thought I did all the background necessary when hiring her. I should of asked for her most recent employer that she was leaving no matter what the circumstances. Otherwise there was nothing else I could of done to prevent seeing this happen to me.
2. Thank goodness she didn't hurt my kids. If she indeed was doing drugs who knows what could of happened. I'm just grateful nothing happened.
3. I will never go through an online service again. I feel absolute guilt that I couldn't tell the other family what happened to me, I couldn't get her off sitter city in time to prevent something like this from happening. She wasn't convicted yet and if I went to sitter city I could of been slapped with a harassment suit or something worse. It wasn't until after the Peabody incident that we were able to get her off sitter city. She also went through craigslist to get jobs, it was crazy, who patrols these sites. If your a parent you need to do thorough background checks and have multiple references before hiring anyone. At least now she has a criminal record and she is in the system, she hopefully will never be hired again by a family.
Its over now and hopefully we can move on. I have felt completely betrayed and I've felt that I put my children at risk, never again. Momma bear is on the prowl and I will never have anyone watch my children that I don't know personally, if ever.
I will keep everyone posted on the outcomes of her court date in 2 weeks, I'm hoping she gets the maximum from her case with me which is 12 years.