Police have made an arrest in the case of an elderly woman who had more than $25,000 worth of jewelry stolen from her Miramar home after the suspects posed as power company representatives.
Police have charged 49-year-old Rachel Demitro with several counts, including burglary, grand theft and violation of her probation for her role in distracting the victim, records showed.
Dimitro was arrested Thursday after being part of a duo with a man, 58-year-old Bob Ely, who committed a similar distraction scam on an elderly couple in Margate, authorities said.
Broward Sheriff's Office officials says Dimitro distracted the homeowner by claiming she had to survey the property for future yard work by a neighbor. The homeowner later said he went back inside the home and found money stolen from his safe as well as a box of his wife's jewelry.
The incident from June 25th in Miramar was caught on 81-year-old Diana Reeves’s doorbell camera, showing one man asking her questions about power in the home and luring Reeves outside while police say another man went inside the home.
"Are you with the electric company?” Dianne Reeves asks the suspect. “Yeah,” the suspect replies. “We're doing work in the area."
As the 81-year-old widow was distracted with one suspect, another suspect snuck into her home and stole her belongings last month.
“The things they took from me, it’s not the monetary value,” Reeves said during an interview Thursday at Miramar Police Department headquarters. “All of these things are so irreplaceable.”
Some of the items taken include the wedding ring and engagement ring from Reeves, who is a widow.
Police say they arrested the suspects right after the two victimized another elderly couple in Margate, stealing their jewelry and cash.
The Broward Sheriff's Office Burglary Apprehension Team followed the duo’s car that matched the description of a car involved in several other home distraction burglaries in South Florida over the past few months.
Police are investigating a possible link to a similar case from May, where an elderly woman was victimized by men posing as tree trimmers.
Dimitro and Ely are facing charges of larceny and delinquency of a child as there was a juvenile in the car during Thursday's incident, according to an arrest report.
“In my heart, I don’t hold hate. But I would like to see these people stopped,” Reeves said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.