TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Four people were accused of robbing an older Florida woman while wearing clown masks and holding a sledgehammer.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said the group allegedly “terrorized” the woman, stole thousands of dollars’ worth of her valuables, and pawned off her possessions before their arrests in December.
In a release Friday, the sheriff’s office named Melissa Martinez, 23, Shakira Rivera Colon, 26, Jaydie Cintron Mayoral, 24, and Nelson Cruz Medina, 42, as suspects in the robbery. Investigators told NBC affiliate WESH the group destroyed the woman’s Ring camera, but the group was spotted leaving the area by neighbors’ security cameras.
Martinez worked as a caregiver for the victim’s husband who recently died, according to deputies. Investigators told WESH that Martinez only worked in the home for two days, but hadn’t returned the house key yet.
Martinez, Colon, Mayoral and Medina were charged with home invasion, robbery and grand theft. Martinez and Medina were also charged with dealing in stolen property and false verification of ownership for allegedly pawning some jewelry in nearby Volusia County.
“We have zero tolerance for criminals who prey on the most vulnerable members of our community,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said. “We are grateful for the tireless work by our robbery and felony squads to apprehend these thieves and seek justice for the woman they victimized.”
The sheriff’s office did not give details about the victim and only identified her as an “elderly woman.” They said she was not hurt in the incident.