Thieving maids mop up in Madrid cleaning scam

Thieving maids mop up in Madrid cleaning scam
Taken to the cleaners: female thieves posed as cleaning ladies to wrangle their way into luxury homes. Photo: Corlia du Toit
Spanish police have disbanded a criminal gang that "employed" undercover cleaning ladies to burgle the luxury homes they worked in.

National Police have so far detained five people in connection with five burglaries which have taken place in Madrid over the last three months.

Some of the gang’s female members posed as cleaning ladies and advertised their services online and on hand-out leaflets for very low prices, the police said in a statement.

The women used fake names and had a script prepared to get signed up more easily by recruiting agencies.

As soon as they’d been hired and gained the trust of their employers, they set about purloining any valuable objects from the luxury homes, even calling on the other gang members to give a hand if they stumbled upon a safe.

Madrid police have carried out two searches at the suspects’ addresses, where they found perfume bottles, jewellery and watches as well as job applications.

The gang is thought to have committed another string of robberies in Madrid in 2012 under different names.

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