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SOUTH MIAMI (CBSMiami) – New details are surfacing about an accused jewelry thief who CBS4 News has profiled in a series of exclusive reports.
CBS4’s Peter D’Oench reports that a check of records shows that 59-year-old Ana Amaya Fraguio has been arrested four times since 1994 for petit and grand theft and also lives in an expensive home in Coral Gables.
Only CBS4 was there on Friday afternoon as Fraguio was put in a police car and taken to jail on a grand theft charge. She tried to hide her face as she was taken away from the South Miami Police Department in handcuffs.
According to an arrest affidavit, Fraguio confessed to stealing $31,000 worth of jewelry from the Bhoom Shanti jewelry store at 5830 Sunset Drive in South Miami on December 16th of last year. The items taken included a diamond rose cut bracelet, two bangles and a tennis bracelet.
CBS4 showed surveillance tape on December 30th of a woman wanted for the jewelry store heist. She was seen bending down and putting jewelry in her purse.
After that story aired on CBS4, a tipster who saw our report called police, saying she recognized Fraguio. According to an arrest affifavit, the tipster met with police and gave them Fraguio’s address and phone number and identified her in a line-up. The tipster said she had known Fraguio for several years and said she brings clothing to her business to place on consignment.
Minal Chugani, the co-owner of Bhoom Shanti, told D’Oench that all of her jewelry had been recovered.
“I’m so happy we got everything back,” she said. “It was really surprising that it was done really fast. It does feel good. We’re a small business and we are trying to survive. We have a lot of bills to pay and salaries. And $31,000 for a small business is a lot.”
Chugani thanked both the South Miami Police Department and CBS4 for its original story.
“I want to thank Detective Lisa King and the entire police department and I also want to thank Channel 4 news,” she said. “Without them we would not have caught her. We got a lead from a store in the Grove and she called police.”
CBS4 discovered that Fraguio and her husband live in a home on Granada Boulevard in Coral Gables that is two miles from the Bhoom Shanti store. Off camera, neighbors said they had lived in the home for decades.
When we checked, Facebook was filled with her photos, showing a well-dressed person at a series of social gatherings. In one picture, she has a cross draped around her neck while she is wearing a white dress and smiling and is cradling a baby.
A darker picture emerges of her past.
A mug shot shows her after a previous arrest.
Records show she was arrested in 1994 for grand theft, in 2007 for petit theft and twice in 2009 for petit theft and grand theft. No action was taken after she satisified pre-trial diversion requirements.
“It’s shocking that she keeps doing it and nothing was done about it,” said Chugani. “I heard that she’s out and I don’t know what’s going to happen later. It’s really sad.”
Fraguio has been released from jail after posting $7,500 bond.
She would not come to the door of her home when D’Oench knocked.
Chugani says there is no record of Fraguio being in her store before the items were stolen and no employee recognized her.
Police believe there are other victims and want to hear from them.
South Miami Police spokesman and Sgt. Henry Guzman told CBS4 on Friday, “South Miami wants to thank all the viewers and everyone that looked at this video and took the time to call in to call the tip line and call South Miami. It’s because of people like you that we were able to take this individual off the street.”
Salesperson Joann T. said on Friday, “We’re very pleased with the outcome. It helps us recover our investment. It really boosts morale in the community. It also lets other people with bad intentions know that if you come to South Miami and you come to Bhoom Shanti you will get caught.”
Store employees who were there when the theft occurred were stunned by how she did it.
“She was calm,” said witness Lillian Calvo. “She never looked like she was nervous. She really knows how to operate.”