Cleaning woman charged in jewelry thefts

BENNINGTON —A family’s house cleaner has been arrested and charged for a series of thefts Bennington Police say exceeds $11,000 in value.

A Mountain Road resident began reporting missing items to police in October. Items reported missing included a watch, a pendant, a diamond bracelet and a bag of coins. On Tuesday, police arrested Jennifer Sanborn, 33, of Milford, charging her with the thefts.

Bennington Police Chief Steve Campbell said Wednesday that he waited for [Sanborn] to show up to work on Monday at the Mountain Road residence, where she is employed to clean, and interviewed her about the reported thefts. According to Campbell, Sanborn confessed to taking half of the missing items that were reported stolen, Campbell said. Sanborn said she committed the thefts alone over the past few months.

At that time, Campbell decided to let her go without making an arrest. Campbell took a similar approach last fall when he questioned Adam Belleville of Weare regarding a number of burglaries in town. But after Belleville’s questioning, and apparent confession while at the site of an alleged break-in, the chief let him go. Belleville then fled to Manchester. Belleville has since been arrested and charged with two felony robbery charges after attempting to rob a Manchester Home Depot. Belleville failed to appear for a probable cause hearing on Oct. 21, according to New Hampshire circuit court staff in an interview Wednesday.

Campbell said Wednesday that he sometimes worries when he lets people go, but Sanborn has connections to the area and lives close by in Milford, so he didn’t think she would flee. When asked what her specific ties to the area are, Campbell declined to comment further. He also said he didn’t arrest her because he had the chance to potentially recover some evidence, if Sanborn brought him some of the stolen items.

“I’m very cautious,” Campbell said. “I don’t want to lose [a case] to a technicality.”

Before leaving the Mountain Road residence Monday morning, Campbell told Sanborn she had the rest of the day to bring him anything or tell him anything else. Between Monday and Tuesday, Campbell wrote the warrant for her arrest. On Tuesday at 9 a.m., Sanborn went to the station without being asked and gave Campbell some jewelry she had stolen from the house, he said. She was then arrested.

Sanborn faces a felony theft charge, Campbell said, which could mean prison time. Sanborn was released on $10,000 personal recognizance with a court date of Feb. 13 at the 6th Circuit Court, Hillsborough.

Campbell said he believes Sanborn cleans just one home in Bennington.

Lindsey Arceci can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 232, or

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