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Filipina jailed 4 months after admitting she stole Rolex watch

25 January 2022


A Filipina was jailed four months today after she admitted at the West Kowloon Magistracy that she stole a Rolex watch from her employer’s friend.

Janice F. Balleser, 38, tearfully pleaded guilty after the charges were read to her by an interpreter. “Yes po,” she answered when the interpreter asked her in Filipino if she agreed with the facts read to her from the case document.


The case began when Balleser was sent on an errand by her employer to the latter’s friend in Cheung Sha Wan on July 11, 2021.

On July 20, her employer’s friend, who was identified as PW (Prosecution Witness) 1, noticed that his Rolex watch worth $50,300, was missing. He complained to police on Aug. 5.


Police investigators traced the watch to a pawnshop, where it was pawned for $10,000.

A pawnshop employee, who was identified as PW2, said the pawner had shown her Hong Kong ID and left her address. It turned out to be Balleser.

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When Balleser was arrested on Oct. 5, police also found the pawnshop’s receipt in her wallet. She was then terminated by her employer.

The defense lawyer told Magistrate Amy Chan Wai-mun that Balleser understood that her crime required a prison term, but asked for a shorter sentence so she could go home to the Philippines earlier and rejoin her 16-year-old daughter.

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The lawyer said she had a clean record, cooperated with police investigators and even gave them the pawnshop receipt that was later used as evidence against her.

The fact that she did not steal from her employer but from someone else indicates that it was not planned, and she was only overtaken by greed when she saw the watch on a table and stole it, her defense added.


Magistrate Chan noted that aside from its monetary value which Ballecer was unable to pay back, a Rolex also had a sentimental value to its owner.

She set an initial prison term of six months and gave a one-third discount, leaving four months for Ballecer to serve in jail.


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