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Pinay jailed for stealing ex-employer’s $80k Rolex watch to repay debt

21 March 2019

A Rolex watch costs upwards of tens of thousands of dollars

By Vir B. Lumicao

A Filipina domestic helper who stole the Rolex watch of her Chinese former employer in February and pawned it for $50,000 to settle her debt is now in jail paying for her offense.

Liezel Lacuarta, 49, pleaded guilty in Eastern Court on Mar 21 to one count of theft, with her lawyer saying in mitigation that she was remorseful and was tempted to steal because of her $47,000 debt.

But Magistrate Peter Law sentenced Lacuarta to four months in jail, saying he could not justify a further reduction other than the one-third discount for her guilty plea.

“The case is a breach of trust case and the value stolen is not small,” the magistrate said.
The particular model of the Rolex watch was valued at $79,895.

The prosecution said the theft took place on Feb 10 but was discovered by intelligence officers of the Western Police on Feb 14 during a routine check of pawnshop reports.

The officers noticed that a Rolex watch was hocked by a domestic helper for $50,000 at Kwan Yick Pawnshop in Sai Ying Pun. Suspecting that the watch was stolen from her employer, the police visited Lacuarta at her workplace and took her statement.
Lacuarta told the officers a friend had instructed her to pawn the watch and offered her half of the money as reward. The defendant was arrested after she said she complied because she needed money.
Police contacted Rolex and found out the watch was sold to Xiong Ju-jin in November 2012 by Dickson Watch & Jewellery, a shop that specializes in luxury watches.
Xiong was located at his address on Tower 1, The Metropolis Residence, in Hung Hom. It was learned that he employed Lacuarta as domestic helper in his flat from 2012 to 2016 but stopped hiring her when his children had to go abroad for their studies.

Even so, Xiong said his relationship with Lacuarta was good, so, he told her to keep the key to be able to access his flat freely.
On Feb 11, Xiong could not find his watch but did not report to police, thinking that he had only misplaced it.

In a second video recorded interview on Mar 20, Lacuarta admitted she stole the watch and pawned it for $50,000 to repay her debt.


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