Courtesy photo

Woman charged with stealing gold from young children

A San Jose woman was arrested this week on suspicion of robbing elementary school children of their gold jewelry, police said Sunday.

Sandra Lizbeth Contreras-Velasquez, 28, was arrested Tuesday in connection with a series of thefts from six elementary school children aged between 6 and 8 years old, according to Officer Jose Garcia.

In each of the thefts, which occurred between Oct. 18 and Nov. 16, Contreras-Velasquez allegedly approached the victim on their campus during school hours and engaged them in conversation while pretending to be a family friend, Garcia said.

During the conversation, after gaining the children's trust, she would ask the victim to remove their necklace to show it to her, or she would remove the necklace herself. In some cases, she replaced the gold necklace with costume jewelry.

Police believe Contreras-Velasquez sold the necklaces, which were not of high value but had sentimental value for the victims.

She was booked into Santa Clara County Jail and charged with six counts of felony grand theft and one count of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. She remains in custody in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Anyone with information on this case or on the wherabouts fo the necklaces is asked to call Detective Hau Ngo at (408) 277-4521. Anonymous tips can be made by calling (408) 947-STOP or at svcrimestoppers.org.

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