Woman Posed as Spiritual Advisor to Rob Woman, 90: Miami Police

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A woman was waking up behind bars Wednesday after police say she posed as a spiritual advisor to rob an elderly Miami woman. NBC 6's Ari Odzer reports. (Published Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014)

    A woman was waking up behind bars Wednesday after police say she posed as a spiritual advisor to rob an elderly Miami woman.

    Rafaela Barrios Mendoza, 53, is facing charges of home invasion robbery, occupied burglary with an assault and battery on the elderly following her arrest Tuesday, Miami Police said.

    She was ordered held without bond Wednesday, and it was unknown whether she has an attorney.


    According to police, the victim, 90-year-old Siria Lopez, was gardening outside when she was befriended by Mendoza, who offered to cleanse her home in the 200 block of Southwest 21st Avenue.

    Mendoza followed Lopez into her home and began rummaging through her things in her bedroom, police said. Lopez's daughter, 56-year-old Rosa Lopez, was awakened by the commotion and found her mother bloodied and trying to hold down Mendoza.

    During the confrontation, Mendoza was able to break free and fled from the home on a bicycle, carrying some of the victims' belongings, police said. Officers caught up to Mendoza a short time later.

    Police said the type of crime wasn't unusual, but the use of a metaphysical angle was odd and said they don't know if Mendoza has used this type of schme in the past.

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