Woman warns others after painter steals $13K in jewelry

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It cost Joanne Guzak more than $13,000 to have one room in her Butler County home painted.

“Anything that was in boxes is gone,” she told Target 11 investigator Rick Earle.

Guzak discovered thousands of dollars’ worth of jewelry -- diamond rings, earrings, and a watch -- all gone, swiped right from a safe in her bedroom closet.

“We just started opening one by one and everything was empty,” she said.

Her mother’s diamond tennis bracelet and father’s class ring from Duquesne University are also missing.

“They jewelry from my family is irreplaceable,” she said. “No matter what dollar amount we get back we can't replace it.”

It all began when Guzak bought a Groupon for $79 to have one room painted by Leach Painting in Grove City.

She researched the company and found good reviews on Angie’s List.

The painters came to her house in Adams Township in March, and police said one of them helped himself to the jewelry and a credit card.

Police said Albert Mee was caught on camera using that card to buy a big-screen TV before taking off to Arizona. 

“Foolish and robbed.  Just violated. That's how I feel,” Guzak said.

The owner of the painting company told Target 11 that Mee had been a good employee and he had never had any trouble.

But Target 11 discovered Mee has a lengthy criminal record for charges that include theft, harassment and escape.

Meanwhile, Groupon apologized to Guzak and refunded her $79.

Guzak came forward to warn others.

“If there's one other person who has this Groupon, check your jewelry boxes because I wouldn't have known had they not stolen my credit cards,” she said.

GROUPON RESPONSE

"We're very sorry for what happened to this customer and have removed the merchant's deal from our site, and will offer refunds to customers on request. If anyone needs a refund, they can reach out to us here.