BELGRADE — A woman who was hired to clean a Belgrade home decided instead to move into the home for a few days with a friend and then stole an antique pistol and other items, according to the man who owns the home and hired the woman.

Edmund King said he posted an ad on Craigslist for cleaning services and after the woman responded, he gave her a key to the home. King spends much of the year in Florida and he rents out the home on Salmon Lake when he’s not staying there.

He became aware that something was wrong in late June when a neighbor sent him a video showing the woman coming and going from his garage.

“She has a good system,” King said. “She says she’s a cleaner, then she comes and cleans you out.”

He contacted the Morning Sentinel about the episode after the 83-year-old King said he become increasingly frustrated with law enforcement officials for not pursuing charges against the woman.

“She went into my garage and stole an antique pistol given to me 40 or 50 years ago, a leaf blower and two chainsaws,” King said. “I’m a very honest man, I didn’t think she’d do something like this.”

The pistol was a gift to him from a relative and held deep sentimental value, he said.

The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office said the woman claims King agreed to her staying on the property for three days. The two had entered into a civil agreement that she would clean the house, authorities said.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Galen Estes said his office cannot further investigate the matter without serial numbers for the items King said were taken. And it can’t be proven that the woman was the thief because King had tenants around the same time, Estes said.

“We’ve done our due diligence with this,” he said.

King said he’s subsequently sent two letters to Maine State Police and also provided receipts for the chainsaws that were purchased. He said he doesn’t keep a list of serial numbers for all the things he owns.

“The system stinks,” King said.

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