Liliana Vanegas, who was arrested in Miami Beach for snatching a Rolex from a tourist after going to his hotel room for whiskey shots, was slapped with new charges for a similar crime in Miami.
And Miami police say she wasn’t working alone when she drugged a man at his condo on Bayshore Drive and stole more than $30,000 worth of goods, including a Rolex. On Wednesday police released a photo of Vanegas, 24, and another blonde woman with a large tattoo on her left upper shoulder area.
“We need to find who [Vanegas] was working with so we can stop them,” said Miami Police Spokeswoman Kenia Fallat.
According to the Miami police report, Vanegas met Robert Moccia at Mango’s on South Beach at 4 a.m. Feb. 19. Later that day, Moccia called police to report he had invited a woman to his condo for drinks and when he woke up he realized he had been drugged and his jewelry and watch were gone.
Among the items reported missing: A Versace chain valued at $1,000; a bracelet valued at $2,000; a Rolex watch valued at $25,000; a gold chain valued at $1,000 and $2,500 in cash.
It wasn’t until Miami Beach police nabbed Vanegas early Monday morning that Miami detectives realized she was behind their case.
In the Miami Beach case, Alvin Malhi, 40, was waiting for a cab at Nikki Beach when police say Vanegas sidled up to Malhi. They ended up back at his hotel room at the Loew’s Hotel, 1601 Collins Ave. Malhi told police they did shots and fell asleep. About 7 a.m., Vanegas got dressed and left with his Rolex. He followed. She tried to get into two taxi cabs but Malhi, who was on the phone with police, stopped her.
She left in a car driven by Francisco Trujillo, whom she had called. The pair was both arrested. Vanegas was charged with grand theft and cocaine possession.
After learning of the arrest, Miami detectives realized the cases were similar. According to the arrest report, Moccia identified her. Making it even easier for him: she was wearing the Versace necklace that he reported missing.
Scams like this are not uncommon. Miami spokeswoman Kenia Fallat said detectives believe there are more victims out there.
Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.