SOUTH MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Miami homeowner says she feels “betrayed” after paying $700 to have her marble floors cleaned and then seeing those workers on surveillance tape stealing valuable items from her house.
“They betrayed my trust,” said homeowner and victim Sylvia Perez in an exclusive interview with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench.
“I knew these guys for 7 years. They came to my house once a year. I trusted them,” she said. “They took my personal wallet, a Cartier. They took my seeing glasses and then they took my key chain which had my business keys, my house keys. “
“I went to work and I left them doing their work and apparently that’s not all they did,” said Perez. “They ransacked my house. You can’t trust people to come to work at your house. You need to stay home. You need to leave someone there. You basically can’t leave these days.”
The surveillance tape from a kitchen camera that was released by South Miami police shows the workers rummaging through a pantry cabinet, a refrigerator and kitchen drawers while Perez was at work during the daytime on November 29th, 2013.
Perez had checked her surveillance tape after noticing a vase was missing from her home.
She showed us where the thieves struck.
“They opened these drawers right here where I had stuff,” she said. “He opened each and every drawer right here looking for items and you can see this is where I keep extra keys and I guess it was curious to them and they kept on looking and looking and the camera captured them. Then they went back to my bedroom in the back of the house. They went all over.”
“They were inside my house for two hours,” she said.
South Miami Police Sergeant Henry Guzman says police this week arrested 51-year-old Joel Reyes, the owner of Stone Restoration and Cleaners, and an employee, 24-year-old Oscar Gonzalez. Both are charged with grand theft.
“They’re searching through the drawers and closet and even the refrigerator,” said Guzman. “It looks like the owner of the business is teaching his subordinate what to do. They are reaching in to remove items and then putting everything back where it was so the homeowner doesn’t know it’s been moved. They are doing things very methodically and moving items and taking photographs. We were worried they might come back at a different time and rob the house.”
“It’s really something that you can’t trust the people that are working for you,” said Guzman.
Guzman told D’Oench that there was the possibility that there are other victims and police want to hear from them if they think the same marble floor cleaners may have stolen items from them.
Guzman said people who think they also may have been victimized should call Detective King at (305) 663-6304 or (305) 609-7053.
“Thank God I have a security system,” said Perez. “If I hadn’t had a system like this, this would have been a he said, she said because they are denying it. But they were caught on candid camera.”
Perez agreed with the concerns expressed by Sgt. Guzman.
“They might have gone to other homes and taken other stuff from other people,” she said. “I would urge people, don’t stay quiet. Speak out and tell the police. Maybe you can help somebody else from becoming a victim of a burglary or a theft.”
CBS4 agreed to not reveal where Perez lives in South Miami in order to protect her privacy.
“You should be aware of your surroundings and don’t trust people because they are nice and say pretty things,” she said. “Just keep an eye out.”
D’Oench reached out to Stone Restoration and Cleaners which lists a Key West address and telephone number. The person answering the telephone said that Joel Reyes worked for the company but he would not comment.