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Professional Housesitter Guilty Of Theft

By Brian Maass

DENVER (CBS4) - A Denver housesitter has pleaded guilty to stealing belongings from the owners of a downtown loft during the family's Christmas vacation.

A CBS4 investigation in February revealed Erica Schmidt, 22, was charged with theft in connection with the housesitting job she took in December, watching the home of Chad Burk and his family.

During the CBS4 investigation, Schmidt said, "I did not steal any of their belongings ... I am innocent in this." But last week court records show Schmidt pleaded guilty to theft and was sentenced to 12 months probation and ordered to pay nearly $700 in court costs.

Schmidt did not return a call Monday from CBS4 seeking comment on her guilty plea.

"We were shocked," said Burk of the guilty plea. "Because through all this she proclaimed to be innocent. But we are happy she finally took responsibility."

Chad Burk
CBS4's Brian Maass interviews Chad Burk (credit: CBS)

Burk found Schmidt through the website and hired her to stay at his loft over the Christmas holidays. But when he, his wife and daughter returned, they said they began to notice expensive personal items like purses and jewelry were missing. When they queried Burk about the missing items, she returned an expensive Burberry scarf saying it had fallen into a friend's bag.

Denver police charged Schmidt with petty theft. told CBS4 it removed and banned Schmidt from the website.

Burk said with the guilty plea, "some justice is being served."

CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass has been with the station more than 30 years uncovering waste, fraud and corruption. Follow him on Twitter @Briancbs4.

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