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$500k missing from house

Staff Written Front Page, Law Enforcement, News

Police arrest housekeeper in massive gold theft

By Patrick Yost

Editor 

A Rutledge cleaning business owner is currently in jail on charges that she removed and sold more than $500,000 in gold and other precious metals and cash from a Madison customer.

According to Det. Andre Johnson, Madison Police Department, Kimberly McMickle, 56, was arrested on Friday, Dec. 18 on one count of exploitation of an elderly person and one count theft by taking. Johnson said warrants allege that in an approximately two year period, McMickle removed gold coins, silver and cash from a safe at an East Avenue Lane residence.

Johnson said the victim told officers that he had 320 one ounce gold coins and bars in the safe. Johnson said authorities have receipts from “Mr. Coin” in Conyers showing that McMickle and two other women made more than 30 transactions beginning in June, 2019 and ending on Nov. 21, 2020. 

Transactions averaged $30,000, Johnson said. In total, Johnson said, the transactions equal 289 coins and gold bars valued at more than $500,000.

On Monday, Dec. 21 authorities arrested McMickel’s sister Crystal Renee Lightsey, 47, Madison and charged her with theft by receiving stolen property. Also arrested on Monday was McMickel’s daughter; 36-year-old Kimberly Christine Vanwhy, Madison. She was also charged with theft by receiving stolen property.

Johnson said authorities were tipped off to the thefts when the victim reached out and told an officer that he noticed the items were missing from the safe. The man told investigators that he infrequently went in the safe but had to check on some documents when he noticed the items missing.

Johnson said investigators interviewed the owner of Mr. Coin and the owner alleged that McMickel told she was using the money for home projects. “She told him she got all this from her father and she was using the money to remodel her house.”

McMickel was arrested without incident at her Chilton Woods Road, Rutledge residence and remains incarcerated at the Morgan County Detention Center. Johnson said at the time of her arrest, Madison authorities learned that she was serving a 10 year probation for burglary and theft by receiving stolen property convictions in Newton County. 

Lightsey and Vanwhy have both been released on bond, Johnson said. Both, Johnson alleged, took coins and gold bars to Mr. Coin to sell. 

McMickel, Johnson said, was the owner of Rutledge-based Cinderella Cleaning Service. She had been employed at the victim’s house since 2017, he said.

Johnson said the victim alleged that the precious metals in the safe were valued at more than $600,000. He also said that $35,000 in cash was missing.

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