Thieves distract 88-year-old woman, steal cash, $75K in jewelry

Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:05:51 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 14 2013 01:55:33 PM EST

Two thieves pretending to check for leaks inside of an 88-year-old woman's Pompano Beach apartment stole some cash and about $75,000 worth of her gold and diamond jewelry, including an engagement ring given to her 65 years ago by her husband, who died in 1982.

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -

Two thieves pretending to check for leaks inside of an 88-year-old woman's apartment stole cash and about $75,000 worth of her gold and diamond jewelry.

The theft happened at 3010 N. Course Drive on the afternoon of October 31.

WATCH: Surveillance video: Distraction theft

"Don't make yourself a target. Be careful of everything that you do," the woman told reporters Wednesday. She asked that her identity be withheld.

"They're dressed like maintenance guys. They're trying to play the part," said Broward Sheriff's Office Detective Tim Bush.

The men knocked on the woman's apartment door and said they were checking for leaks in the building.

"I just thought he was fixing the roof. There was -- he said there was a pipe that burst in the roof," she said. "I let him in. He says to me it's in this line and we have to empty the cabinet."

As one man took the woman into the kitchen, the other snooped around her apartment and found her jewelry hidden in a spare bedroom.

"While he keeps her occupied, constantly having her do things, he sends the other one around, all this to give him time," said Bush.

"While I was busy with the cabinets, the other one was looking," she added.

Among the jewelry the men stole was an engagement ring given to the woman 65 years ago by her husband, who died in 1982.

"I knew better than that and it didn't matter," she said.

The Broward Sheriff's Office on Wednesday released surveillance video of the pair. Investigators described the men as between 35 and 40 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, and about 175 pounds.

Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

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