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Employee reportedly steals $40 from home

By Staff | Mar 5, 2009

A Cape Coral man spent his first day on the job with a local painting company handing out fliers, and that night in jail after police said the man stole $40 from a Cape home Wednesday afternoon.
Wayne B. Palhete, 22, of 924 N.E. Fourth St., was charged with unarmed burglary and petit larceny, and remained in the Lee County Jail Thursday evening. According to jail records, his bond is set at a combined $9,000.
Palhete reportedly admitted to swiping the $40 from the front porch of a Cape home in the 100 block of Southeast 46th Street. He was handing out fliers in the neighborhood for Riverside Painting.
The homeowners left the money in a bank envelope for a contractor when Palhete stole it at about 2 p.m., they told Cape Coral officers.
The owner of Riverside Painting said Palhete was a new hire, and no longer has a job with the company due to the incident.
“I had no idea (Palhete) was doing this,” said the owner, who requested not to be identified by name. “We will not hire him back by any means.”
The owner said that when he learned of the incident, he went to the home Palhete allegedly burglarized and offered to make things right with the homeowners. The homeowners told him they did not find the company at fault in the incident.
Riverside Painting has the proper permitting to advertise in neighborhoods, though Palhete’s arrest has led the company to implement a more stringent hiring policy, the owner said.
“We are doing very, very strict background checks since this happened,” he said. “We’re sorry that this happened, and I’m going to do everything in my power to be more careful of who I hire.”
The homeowners positively identified Palhete as the person who took the money, and told police they would like to press charges.
The money and envelope were recovered by police.
Palhete has not previously been arrested in Lee County, records show.