Clothed in nursing scrubs, 30-year-old Jakovee Ladrel Gray stepped into a Haines City pawn shop in mid-November and traded a pair of gold rings, revealing that she had inherited them from her grandmother, according to court documents.
In actuality, police tell, Gray had that morning removed the rings from the fingers of an 88-year-old patient at the Winter Garden nursing house where she served. Hours after the theft — which drew police to the facility — she was at the pawnshop exchanging them for cash.
30-year-old Gray was arrested into the Orange County Jail on Wednesday. She bears felony charges of grand theft and exploitation of the elderly.
The investigation started at around 10 a.m. Nov. 17 when the victim emerged from her room at Quality Health Care on West Colonial Drive, screaming that someone had robbed her rings.
According to an affidavit, the woman described the theft had occurred after breakfast.
She told a nursing assistant stepped into her room to bring her food tray and proposed to clean her rings. The patient told that the worker then slid the rings off her fingers and left. Soon, the patient started to worry, “so she prayed about it and informed the staff,” the affidavit states.
As the patient was explaining the person who took the jewelry to a supervisor, Gray entered the hallway.
The victim “quickly said that Jakovee was the one who took her rings,” police told. Once officers came, Gray in an interview verified she picked up the breakfast tray but refused to take the rings. She gave officers consent to search her. They discovered nothing.
But 2 days later, officers examined a pawn database and discovered that Gray had pawned a pair of rings at the shop in Haines City the identical day that the patient’s rings were taken. The transaction occurred just 1 1/2 hours after police left the nursing home, the affidavit stated.
The shop’s owner told that he recognized Gray, who had shown her license and given a fingerprint throughout the transaction.
The victim’s son verified the rings were his mother’s, police told, given to her by his late father while the family resided in Cuba. One was a gold wedding band, the other a gold band with a gemstone attached.
Gray was being detained on $15,000 bail as of Wednesday evening