By Steve Plunkett
A woman from Boca Raton has been charged with pilfering $650,000 in high-value handbags, jewelry and furs from a home in Gulf Stream.
Liliana Vargas, 31, received only $100,000 for the goods via a Delray Beach consignment shop, she told police.
She is scheduled to appear at the Palm Beach County Courthouse in West Palm Beach at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 9 after posting a $35,000 bond. Vargas, who gave a Boca Raton address but also has a driver’s license with an Inglewood, California, address, faces charges of grand larceny, dealing in stolen property and communications fraud.
According to the report filed by Gulf Stream police Sgt. Bernard O’Donnell, the victim, whose name was redacted, left her Gulf Stream home on June 12 to spend the summer at her home in New Jersey. When she returned to Gulf Stream on Oct. 27 she discovered her loss.
O’Donnell and Officer Randy Wilson met with the victim along with her family members, her personal security protection employee, her Gulf Stream housekeeper and Vargas on Oct. 29, the report said.
Vargas, whose relationship to the victim was also redacted, “asked if she could speak with (redacted) privately. During their private conversation Ms. Vargas admitted that she was responsible for the theft of the victim’s property,” it said.
On a body-camera recording soon afterward she confessed to taking 11 handbags, O’Donnell reported. Vargas voluntarily came to the Police Department on Nov. 3 and admitted to stealing additional handbags, he said. She was arrested that day and taken to the Palm Beach County Jail.
The owner of the consignment shop told police that she had an “ongoing customer relationship” with Vargas and that Vargas had been paid for the handbags either in cash or through wire transfers via cellphone apps.