Thief who targeted Microsoft families deported before facing charges

by: Lee Stoll Updated:

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Several families who used the same cleaning company are now missing thousands of dollars in jewelry.  The man charged with stealing from them is missing too.

"These are the ones that have been taken.  You see some rings, you see some bracelets,” said Jai Singh, who showed us photos of nearly $40,000 in jewelry stolen from his Sammamish home, including his wife’s $4,000 diamond bracelet

“I just kept pressing on her 'you forgot to keep it there, it's somewhere else.’  We kept looking in the entire house,” said Singh.

The search only turned up more missing jewelry.

"She said this pouch is so empty and light,” said Singh.

He confronted their cleaning lady.

“She said, 'No I did not do it. We said, ‘One of your brothers comes with you.  You want to check with him?’" Singh said.

Singh sent out an email blast to Indian-American co-workers at Microsoft—the majority of the cleaning lady’s clients.

According to court papers, Raul Espinoza, who worked with the housekeeper, stole more than $120,000 in gold jewelry from 11 homes.

Detectives recovered four bracelets taken from Divya Verma.

"I am actually paranoid of letting anybody into my house that I don't know.  In fact, I don't even hire contractors,” said Verma.

King County detectives say Espinoza pawned jewelry at stores in Auburn and Federal Way.  He was arrested last year and confessed but was immediately deported for being in the country illegally.

We asked prosecutors why it took a year to file charges.  They said detectives spent months investigating the massive case and it was not sent to their office until March—months after Espinoza was apparently gone.

"If he was in this country, he committed a crime, I think this country should have punished him,” said Singh.

Detectives have only recovered $36,000 of the stolen jewelry.