ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. — A woman trusted to take care of children has been charged with stealing from a parent—and is suspected of committing the crime more than once.
‘St. Charles County police are investigating a fraud case involving a babysitter you may have trusted with your own children,’ police wrote on Facebook Tuesday.
The woman’s name is Laura Templeton.
On Dec. 11, St. Charles County police said Templeton has been arrested. 'Your tips led to the arrest of Laura Templeton. Thank you for your support.' St. Charles County police said on Twitter.
Investigators first learned about Templeton after a local mother reported her. The mother said on Nov. 23 she used an online referral source—police did not specify which one—to search for a babysitter. Templeton arrived at the victim’s home that evening. Once alone, police believe she stole the victim’s wallet credit cards.
About 30 minutes after leaving her babysitting job, Templeton made the first of six purchases with the stolen cards, police said. She used the victim’s cards to buy holiday gifts, household items and gas.
Each purchase was caught on surveillance cameras, police said.
Templeton has been charged with five counts of felony stealing and two misdemeanor counts of fraudulent use of a credit/debit device.
Police believe there may be other victims because Templeton used several online services, apps and social media accounts to promote her child care services.
A spokesperson for the St. Charles County Police Department said she does not have any information that Templeton harmed children, but said it’s important for parents to research babysitters.
“You have to check references. Make phone calls. Drop in on the babysitter to see how he or she is working with your child. Talk to your child about their experience,” said St. Charles County Police Department Public Affairs Officer Val Joyner.
Morgan Clark, who runs the local babysitter service STL Sitter, agrees. She said her company performs background checks and conducts in-person interviews with sitters.
“We do background checks, driving record checks, CPR certification,” Clark said. “We check all of their references. Then they come back into our office again to meet with another manager so we can get two points of contact with them.”
Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Laura Templeton is asked to call 636-949-3002 or contact Detective Anderson at 636-949-3000, ext. 2523.
Statement from Care.com spokesperson
"The safety of the Care.com community is of paramount importance to us, and we extend our sympathy to the family affected by this unfortunate situation. Care.com can confirm that it has followed its account closure practices in relation to this matter, and that it has and will continue to, if needed, cooperate with law enforcement. As this is an active investigation, we will not comment further."
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