A 52-year-old man was behind bars today on suspicion of stealing jewels valued at $178,000 from a Laguna Beach home he was supposed to be taking care of, police said.
Robert Wayne Erfurt, arrested Monday on suspicion of felony grand theft and possession of methamphetamine, was locked up in lieu of $200,000 bail, Laguna Beach police Lt. Jason Kravetz said.
A San Diego County woman told police that the jewels were taken from a friend’s home in the 1300 block of Moorea Way between December and March 30, Kravetz said. The victim had been staying in Laguna Beach while her home was being renovated, Kravetz said.
She realized the jewelry was missing and went to pick it up April 2, Kravetz said.
Erfurt worked as a caretaker at the Laguna Beach home, Kravetz said.
Detectives found him in an Anaheim motel Monday, he said. Under questioning, Erfurt admitted he took the valuables, he said.
The jewels were found in a magnetized box under Erfurt’s truck, Kravetz said.