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Filipina helper jailed 10 months for stealing employer's jewelry worth $147k

29 July 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

Millare stole several pieces of gold jewelry given to the employer by her late husband

A Filipina domestic helper was sentenced to 10 months in jail today, Jul 29, after she admitted stealing $147,000 worth of gold ornaments early this year from her employer in Tseung Kwan O.

Karen K. Millare, 31 and single, begged for leniency through her lawyer, but the magistrate said the sentence was the lightest he could give her, as her offense was a breach of trust and the value of the stolen goods was not small. 


The prosecutor said the jewelry, which the widowed employer Chung Siu-fong, 74, claimed were bequeathed to her by her deceased husband, were believed to have been  stolen in January and April this year.

Wan Chai police discovered the theft in their regular check on pawnshop transactions when they noticed the stolen items were hocked by Millare between Jan 4 and Apr 23 in pawnshops in North Point and Wan Chai. They found out she was Chung’s helper.

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The officers went to Chung’s place at Ming Chin House (Block D), Ying Ming Court, Po Lam, on Jun 16 and showed her photos of the pawned jewelry. She confirmed they were the jewelry inherited by her husband and passed on to her.

She said she stored the jewelry in a safe that she locked in her wardrobe then kept the only key in a handbag inside her bedroom. When she and the officers inspected the box, they discovered the jewelry missing.


The officers searched the bedroom of the helper and found one more gold necklace and a gold ring with emerald stone among her belongings. Chung confirmed those were also hers.

Millare was arrested on the same morning and was taken to the Wan Chai Police Station where she admitted during a video interview that she stole the items and pawned them on various dates.

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The stolen jewelry were two gold necklaces bought at high-end jeweler Chow Sang Sang for $30,000 and $42,000 and two bracelets also bought from the same shop for $35,000 and $40,000.

The prosecutor said the defendant had a clear record in Hong Kong. She added that the four stolen items will be returned to the police pending agreement between the investigators and the pawnshop.

The defense lawyer said Millare came to Hong Kong in 2017 to work for Chung as domestic helper. She had a clear record and admitted taking the jewelry out of greed.

He said the Filipina had a good relationship with the employer, with whom she was on her third employment contract. The lawyer said she pleaded guilty, was remorseful and wanted to compensate the owner, but she had been jobless since her arrest.

The magistrate said he could only give the defendant a one-third discount.

Bustamante is accused of stealing clothes from Wong's Ornaments at Euro Trade Centre

Garments theft

Meanwhile, a Filipina waitress was charged today with stealing assorted garments from a shop at Euro Trade Centre on Des Voeux Road Central.

M.A. Bustmante, 37, was accused of stealing a pair of trousers, a pair of shorts, two pairs of socks, three pairs of denim shorts, three t-shirts, four vests and 10 underpants.

The items were allegedly taken by the accused on Jul 15 at Wong’s Ornament Shop on the ground floor of the building.

The magistrate adjourned the case until Sept 14 at the request of the defendant’s duty lawyer, who said he needed legal advice.



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