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Housekeeper with Kilburn link is being hunted in connection with £500k theft in St John’s Wood

PUBLISHED: 12:19 11 October 2016

Ma Rowena Laysa Manuel is being hunted by police

Ma Rowena Laysa Manuel is being hunted by police

Archant

A housekeeper with links to Kilburn is being hunted following the theft of £500,000 worth of jewellery and coins in St John’s Wood.

The stolen earringsThe stolen earrings

Detectives would like to speak to Ma Rowena Laysa Manuel in connection with the disappearance of the valuables which belonged to her employer, a widow in her 60s who had recently lost her husband.

The 46-year-old, who also goes by the name of Nina, was employed as a carer to look after the victim’s terminally-ill husband.

When he died she was kept by the widow as a housekeeper.

The victim had left her home on April 15 to run some errands and when she returned her £250,000 butterfly diamond pendant, which was made by her late father, £50,000 solitaire diamond engagement ring and a pair of two carat solitaire diamond earrings were missing.

The stolen ringThe stolen ring

Her husband’s £200,000 gold and silver coin collection had also been stolen.

Manuel, who is Filipino, is around 5ft 4ins tall and wears a hearing aid.

As well as Kilburn she has links to Reading, Worchester, Kensington and Chelsea, Hendon and Westminster.

Detectives have recovered some of the stolen coins while others are believed to have been sold in Birmingham.

A 44-year-old woman was arrested in May in connection with the investigation and has been bailed to return to a police station next month.

DC Nikki Hubbard, of Westminster’s Serious Crime Unit, said: “The victim is totally devastated by the loss. She is still grieving for her husband and the ring was something that felt close to her husband.

“The effect on the victim has been tremendous; she has lost her independence and is in constant fear.”

Anyone who knows of Manuel’s whereabouts or who has any information should call Westminster’s Serious Crime Unit on 07909 706 295 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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