GUILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- Police put out a warning for residents in and around Guilford: if you have ever hired Rita Ingraldi to clean your house you may have been robbed by her son who worked alongside her.
Thousands of dollars worth of silver flatware and jewelry were taken from several homes she cleaned, and last night police arrested her son who they say is responsible.
The jewelry News 8 was shown at the Guilford Police Department is just some of what police say 32-year-old Guilford resident Joseph Ingraldi stole from homes in the area.
"He was working with mother, assisting her with cleaning houses, and when the opportunity came up he went into some rooms in the house and grabbed some items of value, sold them, and got money for them," said Lt. Robert Robinson.
While police say Ingraldi, who worked with his mother cleaning homes, was only caught by one homeowner, they are sure he stole from many others.
"One neighbor would refer him to another, who would refer him to another, most of them were affluent families, and the temptation was there for him to keep stealing from them," said Robinson.
Police say Ingraldi sold much of the jewelry he stole and collected more than $70,000 from the sales.
"Precious stones including diamonds, pearls, emeralds, sapphires, 28 diamonds, have been removed from rings and some watches," Robinson said.
Though Ingraldi worked with his mother, his attorney tells News 8 she was surprised to hear the allegations.
He tells us, "his mom is shocked by the allegations, but supports her son and believes he is innocent of the charges."
Police say they may know what was driving Ingraldi to steal.
"We suspect that there is a substance abuse problem with this individual," said Robinson, "and he was using that money to support his habit."
Police will be holding onto all the jewelry and flatware. They are hoping residents will recognize some as their own and come claim them.
If you think any of the items could be yours, call the Guilford Police Department at 203-453-8061.
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