MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – A Miami Beach landlord has been arrested after allegedly robbing one of her tenants of some very expensive items.
She’s now facing charges of burglary and grand theft.
According to police, 34-year-old Valentina Zaeta and an unknown accomplice gained access to a dwelling that Claudia Pimentel and a roommate were renting back on December 18th.
While inside, Zaeta took a laptop computer, a Louis Voutton bag, a Michael Kors wallet and a Tag luggage bag, along with credit cards, the victim’s social security card and $500 in cash, per the arrest report.
Angry, upset and feeling violated, Pimentel is speaking out about being a victim of burglary.
“She took my laptop, she took my luggage, all my personal property, all the cash and my LT bag alone is $3800,” said Pimentel.
Pimentel’s roommate told police that he heard someone enter the apartment while in his room, and then shortly after heard the front door slam.
He exited his room and looked out the window, where he observed Zaeta outside the apartment holding something he couldn’t identify against her chest.
He then went into the Pimentel’s room and noticed the laptop missing, according to a police report, and quickly called her.
The roommate told police that Zaeta is the landlord of the apartment but is sub-leasing it to he and the Pimentel.
Security video from Miami Massage Therapy, a business next to Pimentel’s apartment, captured the incident and was obtained by her on Thursday.
“It’s not just bold, it’s a violation of someone’s privacy,” said Shane Molinaro with Miami Massage Therapy.
The video clearly shows a white van pull up and two women get out, one of them identified as Zaeta.
According to a police report, the footage shows Zaeta and an unknown female use a key to enter the apartment.
A few minutes later they walk out with what looks like a handbag, laptop and luggage.
“Regardless of anything, you don’t have the right to enter anyone’s place and rob them and steal their things. Are you crazy? What’s wrong with you? And then, try to extort them,” Pimentel said.
When authorities arrived on scene to obtain the surveillance footage, Zaeta called the victim and said that she was in possession of her property and would return them in exchange for cash.
Audio of this phone call was captured on an officer’s body camera.
“Do I feel safe? Absolutely not,” Pimentel said. “She sent some hooligan to come shake me up or try to get money from me last night. I haven’t been home. I don’t want to go home. My stuff is gone, what am I going to do now?”
Police then went to Zaeta’s place of business and arrested her.
The motive behind her actions? Pimentel claims she was not late on rent and didn’t owe Zaeta any money.
Regardless, the law states entering into an apartment without a tenant present or their permission and removing items is a crime, a violation that has cost Pimentel money and broken her into pieces.
“It’s not ok for someone to feel bad because they’re not from here, that they come to our country and decide they want to handle things their way,” she said. “It doesn’t work that way and you are not allowed to come into someone’s home and do that.”
There is now an immigration hold on Zaeta.