CORAL SPRINGS (CBSMiami) – The dresser where 90-year-old Giocomina Arnone keeps some of her prized possessions is pretty bare these days.

Her precious diamonds, rings and rosary beads are gone.

Coral Springs Police said the elderly widow fell victim to a “distraction theft” scam.

“They took so many things,” Arnone told CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana. “I didn’t think anybody would do that.”

Investigators said a man posing as a city worker on September 19th told Arnone he was there to check out a tree in her backyard. He claimed it needed to be trimmed.

Arnone said she never asked to see his credentials.

“This man had such finesse that if he went to Hollywood they would have hired him. He was such an actor,” Arnone explained.

While Arnone spoke with the man out back, another person snuck into her home through the unlocked front door.

Investigators said he managed to get his hands on $16,00 dollars worth of jewelry.

Arnone said some of the jewels belonged to her late husband, daughter and mother.

She specifically recalled a ring she guessed was more than 100 years old and rosary beads given to her by a monk.

Arnone said she has lived in her home for 40 years. Of those, she has spent the last 13 years alone since her husband died.

“I’m so nervous that at night, I sleep with the light on,” Arnone said.

Coral Springs Police Sgt. Carla Kmiotek said cops have seen a few similar cases this year.

“All of our city employees drive city vehicles. They wear identification. When anybody comes to your door, make sure that you can verify who they are,” Sgt. Kmiotek said.

Arnone said she forgives the people who stole from her, but she can’t understand why they’d commit such a crime.

“Why don’t they go to work and earn their own living,” Arnone asked. “Why do they have to bother old people?”

She said the man was driving a black pick-up truck.

If you have any details that might help police, call Broward Crimestoppers at 954-493-TIPS or the detective at (954)346-1773.


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