Mister Maid cleans out clients jewelry; police looking for other victims
A cleaning service’s dirty work has landed two men in jail. The pair was only supposed to be cleaning their clients’ properties, but
they were also cleaning them out by stealing their jewelry. Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives have identified five victims and they believe there are more.
BSO Oakland Park Detective Brian Rupp was conducting routine inspections at area pawn shops on Jan. 25 when he became suspicious of large quantities of jewelry being sold by Stephen Knapp, 37, and Richard Lewis, 43. Through the investigation, Detective Rupp was able to track down an elderly couple who owned some of the jewelry. Joe and Alice Pastorella had no idea their jewelry had been stolen, and when Detective Rupp showed them a picture of the suspects, they recognized them as the cleaning crew from Mister Maid.
The Pastorellas said Mister Maid was recommended to them by a neighbor. When Detective Rupp interviewed the neighbor, he too had been a victim. So far, investigators have confirmed there are five
victims and have identified nine others. And they believe there could be more. None of the victims reported their property stolen because they didn’t know anything was missing until Detective Rupp brought it to their attention.
Knapp and Lewis were arrested without incident on Jan. 26. The suspects admitted to the crimes and said they were stealing and selling the jewelry to support their addiction to pain pills. The pair was using about $600 worth of Roxycodones per week.
They are both facing charges of dealing in stolen property, grand theft and exploitation of the elderly.
Anyone who believes they’ve been a victim should contact Oakland Park Detective Brian Rupp at or Broward Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-TIPS or www.browardcrimestoppers.org
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