STONINGTON — A local housekeeper is facing charges after the police said a complaint about missing medication led officers to discover that she had stolen and cashed several checks belonging to a client on Stony Brook Road.
The housekeeper, Marcella Franchesca McWeeney, 31, of Groton, was arraigned Friday on five counts of third-degree forgery and one count of fifth-degree larceny. McWeeney, who has also been charged in connection with thefts in Groton and Ledyard, was ordered held on $40,000 bond.
According to a police affidavit, residents of Stony Brook Road reported on March 29 that they believed McWeeney had taken one of their son's medications. The couple had hired McWeeney several months earlier through the Thumbtack.com website. McWeeney denied taking any medications, noting that she found it odd that the family would "keep them in open view"; no charges were filed.
The couple told the police they were also concerned about a discrepancy in their bank account and suspected that McWeeney may have stolen and cashed checks. On April 2, the affidavit said, officers met with the couple a second time and received more information about the stolen checks.
McWeeney initially denied the theft, telling officers she did take one check but had used it with the couple's permission to buy a steam cleaner.
Bank statements provided to the police showed that between Feb. 7 and March 28, five checks were written to McWeeney that had signatures inconsistent with those of the account holders.
"All checks were written out to Marcella McWeeney, forged with the victim's name and endorsed by McWeeney," the affidavit said. McWeeney had cashed the checks by signing them over to another individual. For signature comparisons, the police said the couple also provided their own checks that were used to pay McWeeney during that time, seven in all.
McWeeney remains in state custody at the York Correctional Institution in East Lyme pending a court hearing scheduled for July 12.