Cancer patients: cleaning thieves robbed us tooPosted: Updated:
The same cleaning company accused of stealing from the homes they were cleaning, as well as taking the Channel 4 I-Team's hidden cameras, is now blamed for stealing jewelry from cancer patients.
IGB Residential Cleaning Services, run by Zack and Ithaca Black-Jones, is now accused by 13 people throughout Middle Tennessee for stealing valuable items from the homes they had cleaned.
The Channel 4 I-Team hired IGB and set up hidden cameras in an apartment and hid jewelry throughout the apartment.
One hidden camera showed Zack Jones casing out all the jewelry, closely inspecting rings, and digging through the closet to look through a bag of necklaces.
When we returned to pay them, they had left, and three of our hidden cameras were gone.
After our investigation aired, we began to hear from cancer patients who said they, too, had become victims of the cleaning service.
Marti Irvin and Jeanne George, both of Mt. Juliet, were battling cancer when the saw a brochure for "Cleaning for a Reason," a non-profit which coordinates free house cleanings for cancer patients.
Both women signed up, because they were too sick to have been able to clean at all.
"I had lost 60 pounds. I was one sick cookie," Irvin said.
IGB Residential Cleaning Services showed up to clean the women's houses.
"What really upsets me is that they came in talking about that they were going to do such a good job, that they were doing this for cancer patients," said John Irvin, Marti's husband.
After the cleaning, George realized her more than 200-year-old family heirloom ring and other valuable jewelry were gone.
"I think it's abominable," George said.
And Irvin was missing several gold necklaces and rings.
"It makes me sick, I could just cry. It's horrible," Irvin.
"You're battling for your life. And you shouldn't worry about somebody taking your things," George said.
The two cancer patients are the latest to say they were the victims of a crime spree uncovered by the Channel 4 I-Team.
To try and catch it, the Channel 4 I-Team hired IGB and set up hidden cameras in an apartment.
Our video showed Zack Jones casing out the costume jewelry we hid and digging through jewelry we stashed in a bag in a closet.
When we returned to pay them that day, they were gone, and so were three of our hidden cameras.
One of the cameras he didn't see captured Zack Jones holding one of our missing cameras.
The Channel 4 I-Team later tracked him down by phone.
"That's what our cameras show, is you going through drawers, closets, looking at jewelry. You want to explain why you were doing that?" asked chief investigative reporter Jeremy Finley.
"Any cleaning company, you are supposed to wipe down everything," Zack Jones said.
"You're not wiping down these surfaces, sir, you're looking at this jewelry," Finley said.
"First of all, sir, I don't steal," Jones said.
Ithaca Black-Jones also told us by phone she didn't steal anything.
"I don't know anything about your cameras," Black-Jones said.
When the cancer patients saw our investigation, they recognized the husband and wife team.
"I was like, oh my God, there they are," George said.
The Channel 4 I-Team has identified 13 people so far who say they had their homes cleaned by IGB and had fine jewelry and money stolen.
Edna Urie from Kingston Springs said she had $2,000 in cash stolen from her bottom drawer.
"I was devastated, absolutely devastated. I felt like I had been molested," Urie said.
Rachelle Young from Mt. Juliet said cash in an envelope, along with back pain medication, was stolen.
"They came in and cleaned my house, and left with $1,700 plus pain pills," Young said.
Despite all the alleged victims, Zach Jones is still somewhere out there. Police haven't been able to find him to serve a warrant.
"As long as he's (Jones) still on the street, he's a menace," George said.
None of the alleged victims hired IGB from referrals. They found IGB through online coupons from Sharing Spree to LivingSocial, and the non-profit "Cleaning for a Reason."
The Channel 4 I-Team asked all three companies if they ever do criminal background checks on cleaning companies.
LivingSocial sent us a statement but didn't answer the question and Sharing Spree didn't respond, but Cleaning for a Reason did and said they do not do criminal background checks.
"I was very alarmed when I saw your story and deeply saddened. The house cleaning industry is a trust industry and most owners are hard working, honest people. Unfortunately, even a cancer cause is not immune to scams," said Debbie Sardone, Cleaning for a Reason founder.
The Channel 4 I-Team tried to reach both Zack and Ithaca Jones by phone, but their numbers have now been disconnected.
Ithaca Black Jones is not charged in any crime.
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