Beware of trusting house sitters: Robbed family warns
A WOOMBYE woman who trusted a house sitter to watch over her family's belongings while they were on an overseas trip has been robbed.
Robyn Sylvester is warning others to be careful who to trust after a computer, sewing machine and television were stolen.
Mrs Sylvester, a former Woombye cafe owner, embraced an opportunity to move to Canada for six months and through their cafe contacts they asked a man, a former customer, to watch over the house and feed the cat while they were away.
Mrs Sylvester also claims the man agreed to pay some rent during the six months that she, her husband and two small children were away.
"I knew him for about two years from coming into the cafe," Mrs Sylvester said.
"By late August there was not a cent paid, no phone calls answered and no texts or emails returned.
"So after I contacted the landlord, and as many friends as I could in the area, the locks got changed and he was gone.
"We got another friend to move in and my nephew met with the new guy and the land
lords and noticed our 50-inch TV was gone.
"On further investigation it was also discovered my computer was gone.
"I was livid, and felt helpless being this far away. I contacted the police with all this information."
A few days later the computer and sewing machine turned up at a Sunshine Coast pawn broker.
Mrs Sylvester still has no idea whether the computer has been wiped, and seven years of photos along with it.
Mrs Sylvester advised anyone considering a house sitter to do their research
"I'd say to other people don't take a person's word for anything, no matter how it makes you look," she said.
"Talk to their family, employer and past landlords or someone very close to you."