ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Four people were arrested after they reportedly broke into an elderly woman's home, stealing thousands of dollars worth of items all while wearing clown masks, deputies said.
According to Orange County deputies, one of the women involved, 23-year-old Melissa Martinez had worked as a caregiver for the victim's husband, who recently died. Martinez along with 26-year-old Shakira Rivera Colon, 24-year-old Jaydie Cintron-Mayoral, and 42-year-old Nelson Cruz-Medina was arrested on charges of home invasion robbery and grand theft.
The four reportedly broke into the woman's East Orange County home in the Cypress Springs Subdivision in December and startled her from her sleep. The woman told police she was awakened by a loud banging noise when her bedroom door shattered into pieces. She said she saw two people in her room — one woman with a clown mask on her face and a man wearing a ski mask armed with a sledgehammer.
The man with the sledgehammer attempted to smash a safe open that was in the bedroom but was unsuccessful an arrest affidavit states. The two grabbed the safe and left the home. The woman called the police reporting numerous heirlooms and jewelry valued at approximately $40,000 were inside the safe.
The victim's daughter told police the only person with a key to the residence was Martinez because the locks on the door were changed a few weeks prior. The daughter said, "she had yet to meet up with her to take the house key back."
A couple of days later on Dec. 5, detectives ran a pawn search on Martinez which revealed that she pawned a 14k gold necklace, a 14k gold ring with three diamonds on it, a 10k gold bracelet, and a 14k gold cross pendant on Dec 1 around 6 p.m.
The phone number Martinez gave to the pawn shop was the same phone number the victim's daughter had for Martinez. Detectives said they were also able to place Martinez's phone on the scene of the home invasion robbery before, during, and after it happened.