Elderly Lakeland woman robbed of $30k in precious jewelry

LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) – An 86-year-old Lakeland woman was robbed of her diamonds that date back nearly a hundred years and rings and bracelets meant to cycle through generations of family. Early last month Jean Beaver lost about $30,000 worth of precious jewelry after someone broke in her apartment at the Estates at Carpenters retirement facility in Lakeland.

Lakeland Police are trying to get the community to help identify the man they believe wiped all the gold and diamonds from Beaver’s apartment.  A surveillance camera caught the man in the facility, covering his face from the camera and then later limping, seemingly trying to blend in as a resident.

This man was seen on surveillance covering his face and later trying to blend in.
This man was seen on surveillance covering his face and later trying to blend in.

“He had a plan, he knew,” Sgt. Gary Gross said of the incident.  “We don’t know how he got in there because everything is monitored,” he added.

Beaver has a small bit of hope left that maybe she can reunite with the kinds of things you can’t replace.

“It just meant a lot to me, that was the last thing I had of my mother’s,” Beaver said of the ring she lost, which dates back to the early 1900’s. “When she passed away my father had it made for me, it was one of a kind.  Of course I had planned on giving that to my granddaughter,” she said.

The man  broke his way into Beaver’s home while she was out, taking a diamond tennis bracelet, rings and practically everything of value.

“He got every piece of gold jewelry- he even knew the difference between good gold and costume pieces- sometimes it’s hard to tell,” Beaver said.

Weeks of working the case, detectives still haven’t been able to identify the man; all the while Beaver has been in heartache.

“Daily, daily, you just can’t help it,” she said.  “And I know they’re just things, but these were my things and I just couldn’t believe anyone would break in here and steal my things,” she said.

If you have any information on who the man captured in the video is, call Crimestoppers at 1-800-226-8477.

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