Lisa A. Rodriguez, 36, 257 Woodlawn Ave., Mountain Top, has been charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking stemming from an incident that took place on December 1, 2016. Charges were filed on January 18, 2017 by Officer Rachel Deluca of the Fairview Township Police Department.
According to the Affidavit of Probable Cause, on December 22, 2016, Officer Deluca received a call from Karen Steinmetz who reported two pieces of jewelry stolen from her home: a 3 carat diamond ring in a gold setting and a 1” ruby and diamond heart necklace on a thick gold chain.
Karen advised she has a home health nurse through the company “Home Instead” that comes to her residence. The home health nurse cleans the home, does laundry and assists Karen with bathing. Lisa A. Rodriguez, a. k. a. Lisa Sofo, is currently Karen’s home health nurse. Karen stated that in her bedroom closet there is a jewelry box filled with jewelry. On December 1, 2016, Karen was going to get the ring to wrap for her sister as a Christmas present and asked Lisa to help her get the ring. That is when Karen noticed the ring was missing. Karen stated that Lisa immediately said, “I didn’t take it.” Karen stated that Lisa knew about this ring because she told Lisa she was going to need help wrapping it for her sister for Christmas. Since December 16, 2016, Karen and her husband Jim searched their home and still could not find the ring. Karen noticed a ruby and diamond heart necklace was also missing. Karen contacted the police.
On December 24, 2016, Officer Deluca checked the precious metals database to search for a diamond ring with a gold setting and a ruby and diamond necklace on a gold chain belonging to Karen Steinmetz. The officer searched the name Lisa A. Rodriguez and found a cocktail ring .2ct center that was sold for $1,000 by Rodriguez on December 8, 2016. Also “1 heart with small rubies” necklace sold on November 29, 2016 which was sold for $430. Both pieces of jewelry were sold to Wilkes-Barre Gold, 1092 Highway 315 Blvd., Wilkes-Barre.
On December 24, 2016 Officer Deluca made a phone call to Wilkes-Barre Gold regarding the two pieces of jewelry. The officer spoke with David Zongaro who stated that after the sixth day of receiving the jewelry, both pieces were melted down. Zongaro stated that he did not have video footage because the surveillance cameras did not have video footage because the cameras rewrite every 24 hours. He stated he did have a sales receipt from Lisa with a signature. Officer Deluca stopped in Wilkes Barre Gold and picked up a copy of the sales receipt. Zongaro stated that he recalled Rodriguez coming into the shop and he also ran a criminal history check on Lisa because of the value of the three items sold.
On December 26, 2016 Karen Steinmetz advised Cpl. Dennis Monk that she checked her calendar and Rodriguez was at her home on November 28, 2016 and December 8, 2016. Karen was advised that due to the time that had passed, the jewelry was already destroyed by the owner of the shop. Karen advised that Rodriguez was due back at her house on Thursday but that she was going to call the company and cancel her.
On January 2, 2017, Cpl. Monk made a phone call to Lisa Rodriquez to request that she come to the station for an interview. She stated that she would be working until 10 p. m. Monk asked if she could come in the following day. Lisa stated that she could be at the station at 10.
Later that night, Officer Deluca received a message from Karen stating she received a text message from Lisa Rodriguez asking if she could come to Karen’s house the next morning to speak. Karen stated she did not repond to the text message, Karen was advised to call 911 if Lisa showed up at her house.
On January 3, 2017, Lisa Rodriguez went to the station for an interview with Officer Deluca and Cpl. Monk. Officer Deluca read Lisa Rodriguez her rights which she waived to voluntarily speak to the officers.
Initially Lisa denied knowing anything about the ring missing. Lisa stated she knew the ring was a 3 carat diamond in a gold setting. Lisa stated that when Karen asked her to assist her in wrapping the ring approximately one week before Christmas, Karen could not find it. Lisa stated that she did not know what happened to the ring. When asked again about the ring, Lisa began to cry and stated that she took the ring because her ex-husband filed for custody of their daughter and she needed money for a lawyer. Lisa stated that she saw the ring while putting away laundry and that she took the ring to Wilkes Barre Gold. Lisa asked if the ring was real, and stated that it was her Aunt’s ring. Lisa stated that she received $1,000 for the ring. Lisa said that she showed her license at the time of the transaction. When asked if she took anything other than the ring, Lisa stated that she also took two necklaces; one ruby and a wider gold necklace which she received $400 for. Lisa stated she pawned the necklace a few days before the ring, also at Wilkes-Barre Gold. Lisa stated that she not take anything else. She used part of the money for Christmas presents, and also paid for her car so it would not be repossessed.
Lisa provided a written statement, was fingerprinted and photographed, and was advised the charges would be filed through District Court.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled February 1, 2017 at 10:30 p. m. before Magisterial District Judge Gerald L. Feissner.