A nanny from Montana became the "au pair from hell" to a couple who says she wrecked their car and racked up more than $70,000 in bad checks.
Laurie Bronson and Robert Dolinko said they wanted a wholesome live-in from the heartland to help out while Bronson spent the rest of her pregnancy with her second child in bed, on her doctor's advice.
"We'd heard horror stories about the foreign girls who just want to come to California for a good time," said Bronson, a psychotherapist. "So we thought, 'Oh great, we'll get someone from the Midwest.' "
But the couple ended up with an "au pair from hell story," she said.
They hired 18-year-old Angela Marie Sandberg on July 16 through All-American Childcare Inc., an Orange County company that supplies au pairs.
Sandberg, of Lolo, Mont., promptly wrecked the couple's car after driving it to a nightclub, Bronson said.
They fired her July 30, then their telephone started ringing. Clothing boutique owners and grocers left with their ex-nanny's checks wanted their money, Bronson said.
Berkeley police arrested Sandberg on Sept. 7 at an Emeryville motel after her boyfriend tried to cash a $15,000 check she had written to him so he could start his own business, Police Cpl. Michael Sloan said.