Socialite’s Investigation Reveals
It Was the Butler-and the Maid
If you’re a wealthy socialite, there’s nothing quite like having a hard-working, presentable maid or butler in service. Well, actually there is: having both a hard-working, competent maid and a butler in service. Even better is if they’re happily married to one another; the household is bound to positively buzz with harmony. Unless, of course, the reason they’re so compatible is that they share an interest in thievery, as was allegedly the case with the servants recently dismissed by-or, to be more accurate, arrested on Jan. 9 at the behest of-Ghislaine Maxwell, Manhattan socialite about town, daughter of the deceased British media baron Robert Maxwell, and occasional dinner companion of former President Bill Clinton.
In recent weeks, Ms. Maxwell apparently noticed that some of her belongings were vanishing from her East 65th Street townhouse. “She started to realize stuff was missing,” explained a detective familiar with the case. He added that the homeowner undertook an investigation, which led her to the basement apartment in her building where her maid and butler lived. Her search revealed some familiar items. “She found her Christmas gifts there,” the detective stated, “and $7,600 [that had been] missing from her safe.”
A law-enforcement source said that some of the gifts were actually discovered in the oven. Barbara Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, said that in addition to the cash, $10,000 in clothing and jewelry were also taken.
According to the NYPD, when Ms. Maxwell ventured into her staff’s cellar abode, she allegedly found more than just her money and her stocking stuffers. She told the police that she saw what the cops described as “an undetermined amount of credit cards and what appeared to be fraudulent drivers’ licenses and license plates.”
On Jan. 9, the suspects-Victor Sagucio, 34, and Marabini Sagucio, 36-were arrested pursuant to a search warrant and charged with criminal possession of stolen property and grand larceny. Neither had prior arrest records and were released without bail. However, the investigation continues as Ms. Maxwell remembers other items that are missing.
Kids are growing up faster and faster these days. Even so, the two young men browsing the porno racks around 6 p.m. at a newsstand at 1585 Second Avenue on Jan. 6 were really pushing the envelope. The perps, described by a store employee as 8 and 10 years old respectively, were none too happy when asked to leave the premises. They complied-but approximately five minutes after their departure, a chunk of ice came crashing through the front window.
The newsstand worker reported that he then saw the juveniles flee northbound on Second Avenue. Besides having captured them on videotape, the employee was able to provide some descriptive details on the mischief-makers: The older one was dressed in a black coat, the younger suspect sported a brown coat, and both were wearing school backpacks.
Tools Make the Man
If the poor workman blames his tools, then the talented one should praise his, as a team of burglars who stole $100,000 worth of Rolex watches from a Madison Avenue jewelry store on Jan. 3 would undoubtedly attest. The exact time of the incident is unknown. The burglars unscrewed the window frame and seamlessly removed the pane by attaching suction cups to it. The glass out of the way, they helped themselves to the pricey watches and fled on foot. Two male suspects were spotted fleeing northbound on Madison Avenue, while a female accomplice left the scene and headed across 74th Street. The police canvassed the area, with negative results.
Barneys, despite the changes it has gone through over the years, remains known for its discerning, high-end and-if one may be so bold-well-mannered clientele. If any pushing and shoving goes on, it’s most likely at the makeup counter, among fashionistas eager to test-run the latest beauty products.
Therefore, it undoubtedly came as something of a surprise-certainly more so than it would at a rival department store such as Bloomingdale’s, whose ambiance better lends itself to the hoi polloi-when two gentlemen visited the store after closing hours on Jan. 5 and tried to break down the door.
They’d apparently come not to shop for post-holiday bargains in the men’s department, but to even the score with a female security guard who had been instrumental in arresting a friend of theirs, a former Barneys employee. Their friend, a 42-year-old female, had been arrested at the store on Jan. 3 and charged with grand larceny.
One of the enforcers, described as 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, with a muscular build and wearing a black bomber jacket, allegedly stated, “Where is the security guard?”, and “You’re going to see what happens,” and “Shut the fuck up.”
The security guard he was addressing (not, apparently, the one the two thugs were looking for) was standing on the other side of the locked door, refusing them entry. The second perp-also a male, described as skinny, 5-foot-6 and 150 pounds, with a scruffy beard and long brown hair-apparently said nothing worth quoting.
In any case, when the two saw they weren’t getting anywhere, they retreated to the corner of 61st Street and Madison Avenue, where they stood for about 15 minutes before departing without further incident.
Ralph Gardner Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.