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Paula Deen's ex-maid facing charges for stealing $100,000 in jewelry

By Christopher Rocchio, 06/11/2010 

Paula Deen's former maid may be heading to jail for allegedly pilfering $100,000 worth of jewelry from the Food Network personality.

Housekeeper Mary Alice White has been arrested twice in the last month on theft-by-taking charges for allegedly tried to pawn pieces of jewelry belonging to Deen and her husband, Georgia's Savannah Morning News reported Wednesday.

White denied the allegations and hung up the phone when contacted by The Associated Press.

Deen and her husband Michael Anthony Groover alerted Savannah-Chatham police on May 3 after they found approximately $100,000 worth of jewelry had disappeared from their Wilmington Island home dating back to last August.

Groover told authorities that White had been caught with some of the stolen items and fired, according to the Morning News.

White was subsequently arrested May 5 on a theft-by-taking charge after trying to pawn a pair of $18,000 earrings at a Savannah pawn shop, Chatham County Sheriff's Sgt. Laurie Tillman told the Morning News.

White was arrested again on May 13 after another pawn shop alerted police about her attempts to pawn a $7,000 Rolex watch and a $2,500 bracelet, according to the Morning News.

A police spokeswoman told the Morning News that pawn shops under the Savannah-Chatham jurisdiction are monitored by the department "especially when big-ticket items are taken."

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