September 28, 2016

Roommate charged with stealing, pawning stolen items

A Big Pine Key woman was charged with stealing a large amount of jewelry and other property from her roommate and using her debit card without her permission while the roommate was in the hospital.

The crimes took place in September of 2015. The victim was in the hospital for a period of time; while she was there, here roommate 31 year old Belen Araque took a total of $29,000 worth of items from her home including jewelry, rods and reels, clothing, custom made knives, a camera and a computer tablet. She pawned many of the items at two local pawn shops.

The victim told Detective Diane Mimosa she left her phone with Araque when she went to the hospital and her identification and card were stored in the phone’s case. She said when she got out of the hospital, in addition to all the stolen items, she discovered a number of cash transactions on her debit card as well.

Detective Mimosa searched the pawn shop computer database and found the locations where Araque pawned the victim’s property; she also followed up with the banks and ATM locations where the debit card was used while the victim was in the hospital and photos from some of those transactions were identified by the victim as depicting Araque.

A warrant was issued for Araque for grand theft, 9 counts of dealing in stolen property and fraudulent use of a credit card. While Detective Mimosa was investigating the case, Araque was arrested in North Carolina for unrelated charges. She was returned to Monroe County today to face her charges here.

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