A FORMER Main Line housekeeper was nabbed by federal agents in Maryland Friday after authorities say she fled the state with a $3 million bust of Benjamin Franklin, a portrait of a famed composer-conductor and other rare valuables stolen from the drawing room of a client's house.
Special Agent J.J. Klaver, an FBI spokesman in Philadelphia, confirmed Monday that Andrea Lawton, 46, had been arrested by FBI agents in Elkton, Md., and had the bust in her possession.
Lawton was fired from the housekeeping company for which she worked three days before she allegedly broke into the former client's Bryn Mawr house through a window Aug. 24. According to court documents, she allegedly stole the bust and another collection of memorabilia worth $80,000, consisting of a framed photo of cellist and conductor Victor Herbert, a conductor baton, an autograph and a list of Herbert's music.
After checking the house Lawton shared with her husband in Philadelphia, cops determined that the woman had fled to her home state of Alabama.
Last week, a witness told an FBI agent working on the case that Lawton said she still had the bust and that she planned to take it out of Alabama so she could "sell it on the black market."
The accused thief was spotted by FBI agents in Alabama leaving a casino earlier this month, then was tracked to Maryland, authorities said. She was arrested and charged with theft, interstate transportation of stolen property and related offenses.
Lawton is scheduled for a detention hearing Wednesday in Philadelphia.