Police: Man stole $300K in jewelry from fumigation-tented home

Jewelry theft suspect arrested

Published On: Apr 23 2012 03:01:31 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 24 2012 10:41:41 AM EDT
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -

A man has been arrested after Miami Beach police say he stole about $300,000 in jewelry from a safe in a home that was tented for fumigation.

A worker with a pest control company noticed Friday morning that several cuts had been made into a tent placed over a home at 1201 W. 63rd St. The employee went into the home and found that someone had cut into a large safe, and there was evidence that the area around the safe had been burned, Miami Beach police said.

The woman who lives at the home, who was not there at the time of the break-in, told police she received a call from the ADT security company, telling her that the smoke alarm had gone off about 6:30 a.m. that day.

"They went into the top shelf and they reached and got all the jewelry out," said Angelike Mindes, 68. "The first shelf was all my jewelry. The second had my husband's gold Rolex, and my husband's grandmother's beautiful diamond and sapphire bracelet."

Miami Beach police said the thief stole jewelry worth $300,000 from the home, as well as a .45-caliber gun. One of the residents said the thieves stole her naturalization papers and her passport, as well.

"It's a tragedy," Mil Mindes, 82, said.

According to police, detectives gathered surveillance video from the Seybold building in downtown Miami of a suspect, Yusdel Fernandez, 30, selling jewelry to a store.

Miami Beach police said the store paid Fernandez $3,600 for the jewelry, and most of the items had been melted down, so they could not be given back to the victim.

Police got a search warrant for Fernandez's home, where they found some of the victim's jewelry, as well as other jewelry that was believed to be stolen, Miami Beach police said.

Detectives also found a black shirt with the word "Police" on it, a gold badge and two black ski masks in Fernandez's home.

Fernandez was charged with armed burglary, theft and dealing in stolen property.

Miami Beach police said Fernandez has been arrested in the past on charges of auto theft, vehicle burglary, residential burglary, drug possession, possession of a concealed firearm and others.

He was denied bond Monday.

Police believe three people broke into the home.