A Scarsdale mom was busted for stealing $12 million in gold from a posh Queens jewelry store by slipping it out piece-by-piece in her purse lining, prosecutors said.
For at least the past six years, Teresa Tambunting, a vault manager at Jacmel Jewelry, stole 500 pounds of fine gold jewelry and raw gold, which she hid in the suburban home she shared with her husband and three children, prosecutors said.
The weird thing is she didn't spend it to improve her lifestyle; she simply hoarded it secretly. Supposedly the family was unaware. Eventually, like all good things have a way of coming to an end, the auditors started asking questions about the inventory. Theresa started returning the loot.
"The first time, she returned one bag with eighty pounds of fine gold. Then, on another occasion (one week later) she came back with another bag," said Jacmel president Jack Rahmey.
The bags were so heavy she needed help from the garage employees to get it into the building, a law enforcement source said.
Tambunting claimed she needed to take the ill-gotten gold, the source said. She admitted slashing a hole into the lining of her handbag and slipping the jewelry inside, prosecutors said.
She is expected to argue through her lawyer that she has a form of obsessive compulsive disorder, the source said.
I don't suppose any of the law-and-order types or the personal-responsibility types could possibly recognize something as flaky as obsessive compulsive disorder being a mitigating factor in criminal activity. People who refuse to cut slack for substance addictions certainly wouldn't want to give her a break for this, would they?
What's your opinion? Do you think the fact that she accumulated the gold in her basement and kept it a secret is consistent with her OCD and kleptomania? Should those conditions be considered as mental illnesses in the legal system?
Should her attempts to return the gold be considered in her favor? Or is that too easy for a thief to give the stuff back only when discovery is imminent?
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