Police have arrested a 54-year-old woman who pulled a large kitchen knife on staff at a South Coast Plaza jewelry store and made off with $2 million worth of their merchandise, authorities said Tuesday.
Karen Yvonne Floyd of Newport Beach walked into the store, which police did not want to identify, at about noon on Jan. 11.
“This happens … it’s the middle of the day on a Saturday when there are people around,” Costa Mesa police spokeswoman Roxi Fyad said.
Floyd, who Fyad described as “very well put together,” asked to try on several high-end pieces. Fyad would not details what types they were or how many.
After putting them on she asked the staff if she could view them in the sunlight. She was told she couldn’t leave the store but walked toward the entrance.
“She was stopped by store security…and pulled out the knife and threatened them,” Fyad said. Security followed her out of the store and into the parking lot, where she drove away though they were able to record the license plate number of the car she was in.
With the use of surveillance footage and the license plate number, police detectives identified who she was and where she lived. On Monday, Jan. 13 they arrested her without incident in the lobby of her Newport Beach apartment complex. Once they searched her home they found the knife they said was used in the heist and jewelry, which was returned to the store.
In July, she was charged with misdemeanor battery for “using force or violence’ against a man, according to a criminal complaint.
Last month, she was charged with a felony count of unlawful taking of a vehicle for allegedly stealing a 2020 Land Rover, according to the criminal complaint.
In that case, officers received reports of a Land Rover valued at more than $65,000 being stolen from a business parking lot, Newport Beach police Sgt. Peter Carpentieri said. Police located the vehicle “some distance away,” with Floyd still inside of it, the sergeant added.
Fyad said the atypical armed robber was brazen as she didn’t wear a mask and was caught on surveillance footage at the mall.
“This is how you get caught,” she said. “And you do get caught and you do get arrested.”
Floyd was being held in lieu of $ 2 million bail, jail records show.
Staff writer Sean Emery contributed to this report.