By: Patti Weaver

(Stillwater, Okla.) — A former house cleaner, who admitted stealing jewelry from a Perkins couple’s home, has been ordered to pay $13,660 in restitution as a condition of a six-month jail term followed by probation for four and one-half years.

After pleading guilty to exploitation of an elderly person, Luis Fernando Miramontes, 51, of Stillwater, was ordered by District Judge Phillip Corley last week to have no employment in a residence of a person over 62.

Miramontes, who has been held in the Payne County Jail since his arrest on June 3, was ordered to pay the cost of his incarceration and provide a DNA sample, as part of a plea agreement with the prosecution regarding his sentence.

In his written guilty plea filed in court records, Miramontes said, “I stole it because I thought it was really pretty.”

The victim’s jewelry, described as a man’s gold wedding band with diamonds, a custom gold ring with a large diamond, and a gold chain, had not been located at the time the case was filed four months ago, court records show.

The victim said he “took his wedding band off at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic due to washing his hands more frequently (in March). He placed the wedding band in the jewelry box. “Towards the end of May of 2020 he decided he wanted to wear his wedding band and found it missing. That is when he noticed the other items missing,” Perkins Police Officer Billy Laster wrote in an affidavit.

The victim believed the only people who could have stolen the jewelry were house cleaners, since no one else had been allowed in the couple’s home during the Covid-19 pandemic until the theft was reported to police on May 27, the affidavit said.

During the investigation, Perkins police learned that Miramontes’ sister had 59 transactions at pawn shops in Stillwater, the affidavit said. Miramontes’ sister has not been charged in the case, court records show.

“When confronted with the transactions report, Miramontes’ sister admitted to selling jewelry for Luis Miramontes because he does not have a valid identification. She also described Miramontes as a flight risk and said he would go to OKC to take a bus to California where his mother lives,” the affidavit said.

Perkins police learned that an associate of Miramontes drove him to a fast-food restaurant at I-35 and Highway 33 in Guthrie, where he was arrested, the affidavit said.