By Hollie Bone
A mum has released shocking CCTV footage showing her best friend stealing money from her home – and even rifling through her then eight-year-old son’s wallet.
Samantha Robson, 39, from Macclesfield, Cheshire, met pal Tanya Sellars in 2013 when she sought a childminder for her two-year-old son Ewan – with the pair becoming good friends and Samantha even giving her new friend a key to her house.
But at the start of 2017, self-employed hairdresser Samantha and husband Mark, 38, noticed money was going missing and couldn’t explain why – leaving them forced to install CCTV cameras inside their own home.
Two years on, Samantha has found the courage to reveal the shocking footage which shows the moment they caught Tanya, who was later sentenced to four counts of burglary and one of theft, red-handed.
Samantha, who claims Tanya stole £1,930 in total, said: “We met when I was looking I was looking for a childminder.
“She had just moved in 50 yards away from me, so it was really convenient and we became good friends.
“We used to go walking together and babysit for each other.
“I used to breed Persian cats and she offered to check on them for me while I was at work so I gave her a key to the house.
“When money started going missing, it never occurred to me that it would be going from the house, I thought it must be while I was at work.
“I even confided in her about the money going missing, and she encouraged me to leave my job saying ‘I couldn’t work somewhere with a potential thief’.
“When we checked the cameras, I couldn’t breathe when I saw her face on the screen.
“We watched her as she rifled through our son’s wallet, I was just so upset I felt sick.
“I was supposed to be going on a walk with her the next day but I just pretended I was ill.
“Our children go to the same school and I couldn’t even take my kids to school because I knew I would see her.”
Samantha said that she and Mark, an electrician, realised money was going missing from the house safe when the amount of money they had deposited into specific cash wallets was significantly less than what they stored in the safe.
The couple went to the police with the shocking footage and Tanya was arrested in July 2017, appearing in court for the first time the following month.
Tanya pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary and one count of theft in March 2018 at Liverpool Crown Court after earlier being found guilty of one further count of burglary in August 2017 and was slapped with a 21 month suspended sentence.
Samantha is now speaking out for the first time to warn the public.
The mum-of-three said: ” We only knew exactly how much was in each wallet because they all had labels on for specific things.
“We regularly put money away in the safe because I’m self-employed, so that’s how I would save up for holidays or the kids’ birthdays.
“After the money started going missing, Mark pointed out that it had to be someone we knew who had access to our home, so we had cameras fitted.
“It made it even worse that she was taking money she knew was for the children’s birthdays or our holidays.
“It will be two years ago in July that it happened.
“I’ve really been struggling with it to be honest, it has affected my mental health.
“She’s shown no remorse, and it’s given me anxiety.
“Not everyone is like that or could do what she did, but it has made me question people’s motives in other friendships.
“I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what we did.”