Robert De Niro's child minder Lucyna Turyk-wawrynowicz (corr) has been charged with stealing jewellery from the actor and his wife Grace Hightower.

The 35-year-old Polish nanny, who has cared for the offspring of some of New York's most famous families, was arrested for allegedly stealing $500,000 (GBP260,000) worth of jewellery, shoes, clothing and cash from various customers over the course of several years.

Police believe the De Niros are Turyk-Wawrynowicz's most recent victims. The nanny has been charged with several counts of theft and criminal possession of property.

A spokesman for the New York Police Department says, "Grace Hightower called the police and reported that some earrings that were very valuable were missing from her home.

"That led to an investigation and eventually Ms Turyk-Wawrynowicz was arrested at 8pm on Monday (20JUN05)."

22/06/2005 17:30