Caregiver charged with using credit card, stealing jewelry from Stonington couple

Stonington — A New London woman working as a caregiver for a couple at the Stone Ridge retirement community stole more than $100,000 worth of their jewelry and racked up bills on their credit cards, including money so her boyfriend could make calls from prison, according to the warrant for her arrest.

Yadira Farias, 32, of 110 Blackhall St., Apt. 1, was charged Monday when she turned herself in to police. After being arraigned in New London Superior Court, she was held in lieu of a $49,000 bond and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation. She admitted to police that she used the couple’s credit card and stole jewelry and other items, which she sold at various pawn shops. She is slated to appear in court July 21 to enter a plea.

The couple contacted police in late May to report unauthorized credit card charges and missing sterling silver items and jewelry, according to the arrest warrant prepared by Detective Cody Floyd.

The wife found 29 unauthorized charges totaling $3,141 on her credit card in March and April. Six charges totaling $600 went to a service that put money into an account so Farias’ boyfriend could make outgoing phone calls from prison, the warrant states.

Three charges totaling $608 were made at the Waterford Wal-Mart for items such as a tablet and toys. Police were able to identify Farias by comparing the store’s surveillance video to booking photos taken for her 2013 and 2014 arrests and convictions for larceny.

There were also unauthorized charges at T-Mobile, the NBA store and Western Union.

When the couple hosted a dinner party on April 26, they noticed that several sterling silver place settings were missing. When the wife searched further, she found many other silver items were missing, such as bowls, platters and dishes. Two of the missing place settings were monogrammed with the couple’s initials. In all, the missing silver was valued at $29,428.

The wife then discovered that earrings, bracelets, rings, watches, necklaces, pendants and other jewelry valued at a minimum of $70,458 were also missing.

The wife said she hired Farias in December 2013. During her five months of employment, she said, food was always missing after Farias’ shift. One day, she noticed Farias was wearing a sweater that looked like one she owned. She later found her sweater was missing.

When she confronted Farias about the missing food and sweater, Farias told the wife that she was forgetful. The wife told police that Farias even told the other caregivers that “she was losing it.”

Floyd researched pawn shop databases and found records that showed Farias had sold the items at various shops in New London, Groton, North Stonington and Warwick, R.I. The woman was able to identify pawn shop photographs of the items as the ones stolen from her residence.

On July 2, Floyd, Detective Sgt. David Knowles and New London police went to Farias’ apartment to execute a search warrant.

They were met by the boyfriend, now out of prison.

According to the warrant, Farias told police that she would take responsibility for what she did and what she took but said she did not take all of the missing items that police were searching for.

She said all of the items she took she sold at pawn shops. Although she told police that none of the stolen items or items she bought with the credit card were in her apartment, police found some of the items during their search.

Farias told police that she would use the credit card at businesses such as CVS, pizza shops, T-Mobile and Wal-Mart and then put it back before the woman noticed it was missing. She also admitted to using the credit card to wire money from Western Union to herself and her brother.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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