Florida assisted living facility worker accused of stealing more than $100K from residents

TAMPA, Fla. — An employee at a west-central Florida assisted living facility is accused of stealing more than $100,000 worth of jewelry from residents, authorities said Friday.

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Michely Beth Fuentes Arriaga, 30, was arrested Wednesday and charged with five counts of grand theft, five counts of false information on a pawnbroker form, and five counts of dealing in stolen property, WTSP reported.

According to a news release from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Fuentes Arriaga worked as a janitor at Aston Gardens at Tampa Bay in Tampa between January and October of this year.

While cleaning residents' rooms, Fuentes Arriaga allegedly stole more than $100,000 worth of jewelry, the sheriff’s office said. Fuentes Arriaga then pawned most of the items, which included necklaces, rings and bracelets, the sheriff’s office said.

Aston Gardens officials were alerted to the missing items when a resident complained of missing items.

Detectives claimed that Fuentes Arriaga pawned more than 100 pieces of jewelry. They added that Fuentes Arriaga admitted to stealing the items.

“It’s disgusting to see anyone take advantage of the most vulnerable of our population,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in the news release. “Based on the number of pawn transactions made by this suspect, we believe there are more victims. We’re asking them to come forward.”

Detectives and officials at Aston Gardens are working to recover the stolen property and return the items to their owners, the sheriff’s office said.

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