Man arrested in Boca distraction theft - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Man arrested in Boca distraction theft

BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) - In May 2009, 76-year-old Gloria Weber was dropped off by her husband at their Boca Towers apartment after grocery shopping at the Publix located at 1001 S. Federal Highway. Her husband left to run other errands while Weber was getting into the elevator to her 10th floor apartment.

She got into the elevator already carrying two other men. One man was holding a clipboard.

In making polite small talk with the two men, she revealed that she lived on the 10th floor. The man holding the clipboard declared he was from the Boca Raton Water Department and was checking water pressure on the 10th floor.

Weber let the men into her apartment when one of them "accidentally" sprayed a yellow liquid on her hands and face. Immediately, the man told her take off her jewelry to wash her hands and face. He helped her remove the jewelry, but, when she asked where he had put it, both of the men fled the apartment. The jewelry was valued at $62,000.

After speaking with the Boca Raton PD, Weber thought she may have been a target of a distraction theft.

Earlier while shopping at the Publix a heavy-set Hispanic man in his 40s had approached her at the deli section and made significant small talk with her.

Publix store surveillence video suggests she was targeted. Nothing came of the case until just recently when Jon Grow, Executive Director of the National Association of Bunco Investigators, e-mailed detectives the suspect in the surveillence video resembled Rick Bob John, 36, of Garden City, Michigan.

U.S. Marshals arrested John in Shreveport, Louisiana. He has been charged with home invasion robbery, grand theft and organized scheme to defraud.

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