Day Care Worker In NYC Caught Stealing 14K Gold Earrings From 18-Month-Old

December 12, 2013  |  

I understand that times are hard out in these streets, but stealing from a little kid?

That’s reportedly what happened at a daycare in the Bronx, as 21-year-old Desire Santiago was arrested on Wednesday for swiping some diamond and 14k gold small hoop earrings from the ears of an 18-month-old at her facility. Video reportedly shows Santiago taking the girls earrings when she was trying to console the crying child. She put the little girl on her lap and when a co-worker left the room, she removed the earrings, according to the New York Daily News.

“After snatching the hoops, the suspect cradled Amia’s head when the co-worker returned, the video shows. Then she put down the girl, who then scampered out of view.”

According to the Daily News, the earrings were a gift from the child’s grandmother for her first birthday. When the little one was back at home later in the evening, her mother, Samantha Viera, realized that they were missing. The child’s father went to the day care the next morning to look for them. He told The Daily News that Santiago claimed that she had misplaced one of the earrings and said she took them out of the child’s ear because her ears were red and the toddler seemed bothered. But soon after she was confronted, the owner of the day care center watched security footage in the facility and saw that Santiago took both of the earrings from the girl. She was subsequently fired, and the police were called on her.

To give more insight into why Santiago might have done this, according to reports, she is a homeless mother of one. She had reportedly been living in a shelter with her child in Queens. But Santiago, who was charged with grand larceny and possession of stolen property for the incident, says she did NOT take the earrings and that the video doesn’t show everything that happened. Her attorney, Carol Carter had this to say:

“It was just about nap time for the children. The baby’s ears became swollen and the baby wouldn’t go to sleep, so she took the earrings off.”

Of course, she doesn’t explain what happened to the earrings after the fact, and the parents of the 18-month-old, Amia, haven’t said whether or not they ever got the jewelry back.

On top of her charges, Santiago also had an order of protection placed against her to stay away from Viera and her daughter. She is due back in court on January 23.

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