HIALEAH, Fla. – A man and woman from southwest Miami-Dade stand accused of kidnapping and robbing a 75-year-old woman in Hialeah as part of what police are calling a “pigeon drop” scam, according to News 6 partner WPLG-TV.
Lady Milena Rojas-Chauta, 39 and David Alberto Agudelo, 32, were arrested Tuesday and face charges of kidnapping, armed robbery and exploitation of an elderly person.
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The two share the same address on Southwest 172nd Street in the West Perrine area, according to an arrest report. The report doesn’t specify their relationship.
Police said during the early afternoon hours of Nov. 30, the victim was walking home from a grocery store in the 6000 block of West 14th Lane, when the pair approached her and told her they’d won the lottery and would give her the ticket in exchange for money.
Rojas-Chauta then asked the victim if she could use her bathroom, police said.
Once the three arrived at the woman’s house, Rojas-Chauta and the woman went inside while Agudelo remained inside an SUV, the report states.
Once inside, Rojas-Chauta pressed an “unknown object” to the woman’s back and demanded all of her jewelry, the report states.
According to police, the victim have her $2,000 worth of jewelry.
Rojas-Chauta then ordered the woman to go back outside and into the SUV, police said.
“(The victim) stated that she feared if she did not comply, she would be killed,” the report states.
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Rojas-Chauta and Agudelo then drove the woman to her bank, where she was ordered to withdraw all her money, police said.
The woman withdrew a total of $1,200.
The pair then drove her to the area of West 12th Lane and West 64th Terrace, where she was ordered to knock on someone’s door and ask for $1,000, according to police.
Police said that as the woman “followed orders,” Rojas-Chauta and Agudelo fled with her cash and jewelry. The victim walked back home and called police.
Police were able to identify the suspects through CCTV video from each location, which showed a newer-model, silver Ford Explorer with a back stripe decal along the door panels and a dark license plate cover.
Video from the victim’s home also showed a woman with knuckle tattoos and a large Guess-branded purse with a yellow clip on its strap.
Hialeah detectives combed through a database of 2016-2020 Ford Explorers registered in Miami-Dade County, and came across a silver 2017 Explorer that, after viewing images captured from license plate readers, matched the description of the vehicle, the report states.
On Dec. 5, police stopped the vehicle in southwest Miami-Dade and identified Agudelo, but released him pending further investigation. Later that day, police said the victim identified him in a photo lineup.
Then, on Tuesday, police saw the vehicle parked in front of the home shared by Rojas-Chauta and Agudelo, waited for the duo, along with two other men, to get into the car, followed the vehicle and later stopped it.
Police said officers took Agudelo into custody and identified Rojas-Chauta as the woman on the CCTV footage by her knuckle tattoos and the fact that she was carrying the same purse seen in the video.
Officers said they found a lottery ticket inside Rojas-Chauta’s wallet and multiple pieces of jewelry in her pants pocket.
Police took the duo, both Colombian nationals, to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. They appeared in court Wednesday and were being held without bond, according to court records.