Karen Louise Byrd

Karen Louise Byrd

ROTONDA WEST — An Englewood woman is due to be arraigned Monday in connection to an alleged jewelry theft against a former client of hers in Rotonda West.

Karen Louise Byrd, 67, was arrested by the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 23, following a month of investigation.

According to the arrest report from CCSO, deputies responded to the complainant’s residence on Sept. 2. She told them she had discovered her engagement ring and a pendant — a combined value of $11,225 — were missing from her jewelry box.

Deputies in the arrest report stated that in the course of the investigation, Byrd was seen by one of the complainant’s neighbors at the residence “on or about the date of the theft.”

The complainant had previously employed Byrd to care for her animals between December 2017 and January 2020, and she had been given a key to the residence for that purpose.

The complainant also posted about the incident to an online website called Stolen 911.

Stolen 911’s website states that it was created by California-based private investigator Marc Hinch. The website functions as a listing site, where users can post requests for aid in tracking down stolen property.

The complainant noted in the online post that the theft of her engagement ring was particularly distressing, as it was a memento of her deceased husband.

“My husband passed away 9 years ago today,” she wrote on the website. “This ring is so very important to me.”

The arrest report stated that deputies checked Finder, a search engine for pawn brokers, and determined that the ring had been sold to a local broker.

The complainant was able to “positively identify” the ring from the search as the one from her jewelry box, and stated that Byrd did not have permission to take or pawn it. Deputies subsequently obtained a statement from the pawn broker in question, as well as a copy of the transaction allegedly undertaken by Byrd.

Deputies later met with with Byrd; the arrest report stated that she then wished to make a statement “post Miranda Warning.” The rest of the paragraph describing the encounter was redacted with “confession” given as the reason for the redaction.

Byrd has been charged with burglary of an unoccupied dwelling while unarmed, grand theft against a person aged 65 or older, dealing in stolen property, and providing a false verification statement to a secondhand dealer. She is currently released from custody on $35,000 bond.

Her arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday at the Charlotte County Justice Center.

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