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San Jose woman arrested in theft of jewelry from children

December 17, 2011 |  6:47 pm

Sandra_Lizbeth Contreras-VelazquezSan Jose police have arrested a 28-year-old woman for allegedly stealing jewelry from children at various elementary schools and selling it.

Police said Sandra Velazquez of San Jose, who was arrested Tuesday, allegedly approached girls during school hours and engaged them in a conversation, pretending to be a family friend. After gaining their trust, she allegedly would ask them to remove their gold necklaces.

"In some cases, [she] replaced the victim's gold necklace with a costume jewelry necklace," police officials said in a statement.

Authorities said the woman did not use threats, fear or force in any of the cases, but only "gained the victim's trust and cooperation."

She was booked on six counts of felony grand theft and one count of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. She is being held in custody on $100,000 bail. 

Authorities believe the suspect sold the loot to jewelry stores. The gold necklaces were not of high monetary value, but "of high sentimental value of the victims," police said.

Anyone with information about the thefts or the whereabouts of the gold necklaces is asked to call Det. Hau Ngo of the San Jose Police Department's fraud unit at (408) 277-4521.

-- Ruben Vives


 Photo: Sandra Lizbeth Contreras-Velazquez

Credit: San Jose Police Department