HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - Police are searching for a cleaning woman who, they said, stole a piece of jewelry that has a very special meaning for a Holocaust survivor.
Eighty-seven-year-old Bernard Tittmann has been through a lot in his life. Several weeks ago, he said, he was ripped off by someone.
“I think it’s very horrible. I think it’s a very low life,” he said.
Hollywood Police are on the lookout for Latoya Coley in connection with the theft.
Tittmann showed 7News the drawer where he keeps his jewelry. He believes the suspect swiped a gold ring while she was cleaning the apartment.
“I was watching her, and you can’t watch her every minute, so she was in the bedroom on her own, and I must have been out for five minutes,” he said, “and she [opened the drawer] and took the ring out.”
The ring, the victim said, is especially valuable to him because it was given to him by his father before he died.
Now he hopes police are able to apprehend this thief.
“You ought to put her in jail and throw the key away,” said Tittmann, “but that’s not the American justice [system] today. You get a slap on the wrist and let them go.”
Police were able to track down Tittmann’s ring at a pawn shop.
“It’s very important, We want to stop this from happening to other people,” said Hollywood Police Officer Christian Lata, as he sat next to Tittmann. “She’s victimizing people that — this young gentleman right here can take care of himself, but sometimes there are elderly people who can’t take care of themselves, and they’re in a place, in a facility that takes care of them, so to victimize them is the lowest of the low.”
Police believe Coley has targeted other elderly residents.
“If you know who this is, tell us. If you know where she is, tell us,” said Lata.
Meanwhile, Tittmann has a clear message for her.
“Turn yourself in and save the grief for other people,” he said. “Because she didn’t do it just to me. She did it to other people.”
If you have any information on this theft or believe you may have been targeted by Coley, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.
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