A man who’s allegedly part of a band of thieves that’s suspected of stealing millions of dollars in jewelry from stores across California — including Siegel’s in Paso Robles — was arrested at the airport in Los Angeles while trying to flee the country, police said.
Los Angeles and Santa Cruz police arrested Roman Petre, 28, of Anaheim on Aug. 24 at Los Angeles International Airport while he was trying to travel to Romania, according to a Paso Robles Police Department news release.
Petre is thought to have been part of a group of six people accused of stealing items from Siegel’s Jewelry in March.
During that burglary, five women and a man entered the 12th Street store just before it closed and distracted employees while stealing jewelry.
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The group is suspected of stealing about $2 million in jewelry during burglaries throughout California, according to Cmdr. Steve Lampe.
Lampe said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security notified Paso Robles police of Petre’s intent to leave the country. The department was then able to obtain a $1 million warrant for Petre’s arrest.
Petre had been released on bail from a jail in Santa Cruz, where he was allegedly involved in another jewelry store burglary. He’s currently being held at Santa Cruz County Jail on suspicion of grand theft, first-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Two other women from the group of five thought to have been involved in the Paso Robles burglary have been identified as Loredana Velcu and Ancuta Poenaru, both of Anaheim. The identities of the other three women remain unknown.