(CMR) A Filipina woman and mother of seven was allowed to walk away from theft charges recently in Summary Court despite CCTV footage catching her red-handed. Mary-Jane Macutay Avorque (39) has been described by former employers and co-workers as “a narcissist and a habitual thief” that appears to have an ongoing stroke of luck when it comes to being held accountable for her criminal behavior.
She was recently accused of stealing $1,800.00 from her friend's debit card on multiple occasions.
The victim, “Elizabeth”, and Mary-Jane were both co-workers and good friends at Renaissance Beauty Salon on Walkers Road when the complainant noticed that two debit cards had gone missing. When the initial card went missing in May 2018 she reported it to the bank who issued a replacement card.
However, in a few months, the second debit card went missing as well. On the second occasion, the card went missing on a Thursday and was finally missed on Sunday. In that space of time, six transactions occurred on Saturday where she removed some $1,800 from her co-worker's bank account at gas stations and CNB ATM machines.
It was later discovered that she was stealing the card from her friend's handbag when visiting her at her apartment. The police were eventually contacted and launched a full investigation which included obtaining CCTV footage at ATM machines. She was subsequently arrested and charged with six counts of theft – one for each transaction.
Elizabeth recalls that when she mentioned it to her trusted friend she encouraged her to leave it alone and not report the matter to the police. Convincingly telling her that “karma” would eventually take care of them and maybe the person needed the money more than her. It was when the debit card re-appeared in her handbag that Elizabeth realized that the thief was someone close to her.
In fact, it was eventually revealed that Macutay Avorque had taken both cards. The second card was some almost a year later underneath her mattress in the apartment that she lived in. Another friend moved into that apartment and during cleaning the unit before occupancy she discovered the old card.
Despite the overwhelming evidence against her the DPP's office agreed to a not guilty plea agreement where she agreed to pay the money back over some five months and apologize to her co-working. An apology her co-worker has yet to receive. As a result of this deal, her record remains clean.
Speaking to exclusively to CMR the victim shared the ordeal with us explaining that it has been a difficult 1.5 years:
Additionally, former co-workers have contacted CMR and indicated that this is actually an ongoing issue with Macutay Avorque. They claim that she has worked at multiple salons on the island as a nail tech and leaves behind her a trail of stolen tip money and empty co-worker wallets.
CMR spoke to various persons at her first company who brought Macutay Avorque back in 2014. Envelopes from her coworkers containing all of their money would go missing after they returned from the bank. Also, jewelry that customers inadvertently left behind at the salon also disappeared.
Since her plea deal, Macutay Avorque, who was working at Lux Spa and Salon continues to operate under a cloud of suspicion as her co-workers there say their money sometimes goes missing as well. Management at the salon said she left them in January after her work permit was not renewed.
She is the mother of seven children including a 20-year-old. Most of the children reside in the Philippines, but she also has a toddler who lives with her father in the Dominican Republic.