Man Broke Into Miami Beach Home Through Fumigation Tent, Took $300,000 Worth of Jewelry: Police

The home was being fumigated by a pest control company, police said

By Gilma Avalos and Edward B. Colby
|  Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012  |  Updated 2:03 PM EDT
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Police say Yusdel Fernandez cut openings in a fumigation tent, then cut a hole in a safe and took about $300,000 worth of jewelry from a home in Miami Beach. Home owner Angelike Mindes talks about the heist.

Police say Yusdel Fernandez cut openings in a fumigation tent, then cut a hole in a safe and took about $300,000 worth of jewelry from a home in Miami Beach. Home owner Angelike Mindes talks about the heist.

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Miami Beach Police said they arrested a burglary suspect who broke into his victim’s home by cutting openings in a fumigation tent, then cut a hole in a safe and took about $300,000 worth of jewelry.

Angelike Mindes says she hired a pest control company to fumigate her house, then returned home to find it ransacked, burned and burglarized.

"We spent money to tent the house not to rob us," she said.

After cutting a hole through the tent, Yusdel Fernandez pried open a window to get inside, police said.

Once in, he took goods that were both valuable and priceless, including watches, rings and other family heirlooms and gifts that Mindes said she has received over the years.

"Anniversaries, holidays, evertyhing else all gone, all memories gone," she said.

Fernandez was seen on surveillance video selling “numerous jewelry pieces” at the Seybold Building in downtown Miami, the largest jewelry building in the state, police said.

Detectives then recovered more jewelry from Fernandez’s home, including some that belonged to the victim, and also found a black “POLICE” shirt, gold badge and two black ski masks there, police said.

Fernandez, 30, faces charges of armed burglary, first-degree grand theft and dealing in stolen property, according to Miami-Dade Corrections records.

At his bond hearing Monday Fernandez's attorney said there was no evidence to prove her client entered the home without permission. But the judge still ordered him held without bond on the armed burglary charge.

He has an extensive criminal history, police said.

“The arrest of Yusdel Fernandez takes a hardened criminal off the streets of Miami Beach,” Police Chief Raymond Martinez said in a statement. “Our community is safer today thanks to the great police work by the detectives in the Miami Beach Criminal Investigations Unit.”

Mindes said she also lost important documents like passports and birth certificates.

"I don't have any identity now," she said.

She said she has learned her lesson, and will pay for security to watch over her home next time.

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