SOUTHINGTON - A Waterbury woman, accused of stealing jewelry from an elderly couple when she was working in their Southington home as a health aide, can avoid prison if she agrees to pay restitution.
Veronica Gonzalez, 39, has been offered a plea bargain that would include three years in prison, suspended, and three years of probation. During a hearing Friday, in Bristol Superior Court, she was granted a continuance until Aug. 22, when she must take the deal or it will be withdrawn, Jeffrey Lee, state prosecutor, said.
Police allege Gonzalez stole a necklace, made of white gold, with an opal pendant attached to it, according to the arrest warrant in the case. The owner, an 84-year-old man, said he wasn't sure how much it was worth, but he estimated that it could cost as much as $5,000.
The complainant told police Gonzalez was assigned to his home through a homecare service to help him and his 91-year-old wife around the house. After her first day on the job, on Jan. 24, the man noticed a necklace had been taken.
A representative from the homecare company told police Gonzalez failed to show up to work in the days after the theft.
When police spoke to Gonzalez, she admitted to taking the necklace, but she initially said she believed it was only costume jewelry, the warrant said. She later admitted she believed it may have been worth something, which is why she sold the necklace to a Waterbury pawn shop, the document continued.
The deal Gonzalez has been offered would include pleading guilty to second-degree larceny, Lee said. The amount of restitution required would have to be determined by a probation officer.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.