Investigators are on the hunt for a woman wanted for a string of robberies at jewelry stores in California's San Diego County and possibly elsewhere.
In late December, a woman was looking at jewelry at Daniel's Jewelers in El Cajon.
“She requested to see necklaces that were in the display in front of her, and they were gold necklaces,” said El Cajon Police Sgt. Kevin Reilly.
Sources tell Scripps News San Diego she was well put together, from her makeup to a stylish hot pink jacket. She mentioned she was an "influencer," and she was draped in diamonds, from diamond rings and a bracelet to a necklace.
Police say the store employee took out several necklaces from a display.
“The jewelry is pulled out for her to try on. At one point, she steps away and makes a phone call on her cellphone. She returns back to the counter and informs the clerk that she’ll take it, and then she grabs the handful of jewelry and runs out of the business,” said Sgt. Reilly.
Investigators say the woman made off with $36,000 in gold necklaces.
Police say parking lot surveillance photos showed the car she got into, with a getaway driver at the wheel.
License plate cameras helped police identify the car and the alleged thief: Angelina Ordonez, 23, with addresses in San Diego and Yuma, Arizona.
“She had committed the same style of theft at a jewelry store in Escondido later that same day after ours. Approximately two weeks prior, she committed a similar theft at a jewelry store in Carlsbad,” said Sgt. Reilly.
Police are looking into links to several similar thefts in Southern California, Arizona and Michigan, all in the past few months.
Investigators say Ordonez was detained for shoplifting in Arizona earlier this month, but the theft warrants weren't yet active, and she was released. Police have not confirmed whether her claims of being a social media influencer are legitimate.
This story was originally published by Michael Chen at Scripps News San Diego.
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