Two Cleaners Take Misplaced Money

Bank cleaners admit to sticky fingers

Barbara Brown

The Hamilton Spectator

( Jun 21, 2008 )

Just as the apple tempted Eve, a bag full of money found on the bank floor one night was more than two cleaning ladies could resist.

Sonia Pacheco, 26, and Delia Pereira, 31, pleaded guilty to theft yesterday after the pair swooped in under the watchful eye of RBC Royal Bank security cameras and scooped up an abandoned sack containing $90,000 in cash.

The bag was accidentally left on Oct. 11, 2006, by personnel of the Universal Armoured Car Co., which regularly services the RBC branch located in Jackson Square.

After her Jan. 16, 2007 arrest, Pacheco admitted the pair had split the loot 50-50. She put $15,000 into her bank account and went on a shopping spree, outfitting her home with new furniture and electronics.

Pereira was nabbed a week later, after returning with her family from a lavish vacation in Cuba. She had just $9,100 left to give police after her arrest.

The loss was discovered the morning after the money bag went missing. The bank’s video footage showed the armoured guards arriving in the deposit room and then captured the appearance of the two cleaners, who were “acting in a suspicious manner,” said assistant Crown attorney Nancy Flynn.

Pereira is seen on videotape carrying a green plastic bag. When questioned, her coworker, Pacheco, claimed there were only books in the bag they found.

Defence lawyers Dean Paquette (see further reading below) and Robert Wasserman said their clients now admit they walked off with $45,000 apiece.

When the armoured car company’s investigator questioned Pacheco about the $15,000 deposited into her account, she claimed the money belonged to her mother and that she was helping her to conceal the money from her father.

Maria Carvalho, who owned the janitorial service that employed both women, supported her daughter’s story.

But Pacheco caved under pressure after Hamilton police took over the investigation.

The women, who have no prior criminal records, will be sentenced Sept. 12 in Cayuga.

bbrown@thespec.com

905 526-3494

Further Reading

Dean Paquette:

Daughter of prominent lawyer seriously injured

Paquette Challenges Constitutionality of Young Offenders Act

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