Woman posed as spiritual adviser, robbed elderly woman, Miami police say

Police: Rafaela Mendoza arrested on 3 charges, including battery on elderly

By Andrew Perez - Reporter

MIAMI - A woman who posed as a spiritual adviser and robbed an elderly woman was arrested Tuesday, Miami police said.

Officers arrived around 12:30 p.m. at 219 SW 21st Ave. after learning about the incident from a 911 call.

Investigators said Siria Lopez, 90, was outside gardening when Rafaela Mendoza, 53, befriended her, offering a cleansing to her home.

According to the arrest affidavit, Mendoza asked Lopez for water so she could "bless the victim's home."

Mendoza followed Lopez inside and began to snoop around while she asked for a few items for the cleansing. Police said Lopez was stunned to find Mendoza inside her home, rummaging through her things inside her bedroom.

Lopez's daughter, Rosa Lopez, 56, who fast asleep inside her bedroom, heard the commotion and found her mother bloodied while trying to hold down Mendoza, according to Miami police.

Authorities said a confrontation between the three took place, but Mendoza broke loose and fled from the victims' home on a bicycle with their belongings in hand.

Shortly after the incident, Miami police officers took Mendoza into custody and charged her with one count of home invasion robbery, one count of occupied burglary with an assault therein and one count of battery on the elderly.

Copyright 2014 by Local10.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.