Bond set at $150,000 for housekeeper accused of stealing; more victims come forward


 Name: FLEMKE, LINDA
 Charge:  THEFT 50K OR MORE FROM 65 YOA OLDER, EXPLOITATION OF ELDERLY $100 OR MORE
 Residence: BONITA SPRINGS
 Age: 37
 Occupation: HOUSEKEEPER
 Case #: Not yet available

CCSO


  • Name: FLEMKE, LINDA
  • Charge: THEFT 50K OR MORE FROM 65 YOA OLDER, EXPLOITATION OF ELDERLY $100 OR MORE
  • Residence: BONITA SPRINGS
  • Age: 37
  • Occupation: HOUSEKEEPER
  • Case #: Not yet available

Anyone believed to be a victim of Flemke, or who may have information about the case, is asked to call the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239-252-9300 or Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).

Video from NBC-2

— A Bonita Springs housekeeper accused of stealing from her clients can pay $150,000 to get out of jail, provided she proves the money isn’t the product of her alleged crimes.

Linda Flemke, 37, faces two first-degree felonies and a third-degree felony on allegations she stole and pawned jewelry from her elderly clients in Lee and Collier counties. Detectives say they’ve tracked more than $100,000 in items belonging to seven clients, and they believe more items and victims exist.

Assistant State Attorney Jim Molenaar on Friday requested a total $350,000 bond. Turner rejected that sum for the $150,000 amount but granted Molenaar’s motion for a special hearing in the event Flemke posts the bond. Known as a Nebbia hearing, the appearance would ensure the money posted didn’t come from the defendant’s alleged crimes.

Flemke is charged with one count each of scheme to defraud over $50,000 and theft of $50,000 or more from a person age 65 or older, both first-degree felonies. She is also charged with a count of exploitation of the elderly, a third-degree felony.

Friday, Flemke appeared via video from the jail clad in an orange jumpsuit. She crossed her arms and spoke briefly when asked about her ties to the community. Flemke said she’s lived in the community 30 years and that her mother, father and stepfather are also nearby. She said she’ll have no employment upon her release.

An assistant public defender at the jail asked Turner for a bond of $10,000 per count, arguing the state’s request was unreasonably high and amounted to no bond being set.

Collier County Sheriff’s detective Wade Williams testified briefly during the appearance. He noted that Flemke was overheard on the jail phone telling her mother she would have “ran away” had she known that a meeting with detectives would end in arrest.

Williams also said Flemke stole far more than detectives have been able to recover at area pawn shops and second-hand shops.

“Approximately 90 percent of her pawn transactions were already gone, melted down, or beyond the hold period,” he said.

Outside the courtroom, Williams said publicity from Wednesday’s arrest of Flemke produced three or four more phone calls from possible victims on Friday. Pawn records for the housekeeper suggested hundreds of thousands of dollars gained from stolen goods, he noted, meaning other victims likely haven’t come forward.

Many of those goods are no longer traceable by detectives, he said.

As for victims whose items have been recovered, few have regained possession of them, Williams said. Owners of stolen, pawned goods must either purchase their possession from the pawn shop or obtain a court order, called a replevin, that would force the shop to return the item.

Anyone believed to be a victim of Flemke, or who may have information about the case, is asked to call the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239-252-9300 or Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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