Clark County Sting operation links cleaning woman to theft

Detectives with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office caught a woman they said stole from a home while working for a cleaning company.

Hidden camera footage shows Brittany McLaughlin take money from two different envelopes at a home in the 500 block of Shrine Road in Springfield Twp., Det. James Hollopeter said.

McLaughlin, 26, of Urbana, worked for Busy Bees Home & Office Cleaning Service. She’s been charged with felony theft in connection with the theft of more than $1,500, he said.

Busy Bees did not return calls for comment.

The family contacted the sheriff’s department after they noticed money was missing, Hollopeter said.

“I said we could set up some cameras and surveillance,” Hollopeter said. “And we picked a day to do that when the cleaning people would be there.”

Detectives placed “seed money” in the home, he said, to determine how much was stolen. More than $500 was missing on Feb. 4, the day of the sting operation, Hollopeter said.

McLaughlin was followed after leaving the home with a co-worker, he said, and the car was pulled over.

“The passenger admitted that she knew why we stopped her, and she actually produced the money,” he said.

McLaughlin didn’t admit to stealing anything else, Hollopeter said, “but that’s something you always got to worry about that they’re taking something from somebody else.”

It’s disconcerting that it involved a cleaning company worker, he said, “because this isn’t the only house they’re going into.”

A resident of the area where the money was taken said she was shocked it happened.

“It’s just scary to think that you know someone would do something like that,” Brenda Bailey said. “They’d be dishonest.”

She tries to take precautions if a stranger is ever in her home, she said.

“I do think about you shouldn’t leave stuff laying out,” she said.

McLaughlin appeared in Clark County Municipal Court on Friday and pleaded not guilty to the charge of felony theft. If convicted, she faces a maximum of a year in jail and a fine of $2,500, Hollopeter said.

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