Rolex airport thief nabbed wearing stolen watch
Igor Adrian Ramos apparently had no idea he was the subject of news reports across the country when Broward Sheriff’s detectives arrested him Friday wearing a $6,500 Rolex watch that investigators say was stolen last month from a passenger at an airport security checkpoint.
Ramos, 37, was charged with grand theft and was being questioned Friday afternoon at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport by Broward Sheriff’s detectives who are based there.
“Crime Stoppers tips confirmed what detectives were finding at the same time,” Broward Sheriff’s Spokesman Jim Leljedal said. “Through the investigation, they had narrowed it down to a couple of flights, and he was on one to New York the day of the theft.”
When he was arrested, the Broward Sheriff’s Office says Ramos was wearing the watch that belonged to fellow passenger Gloria de Regalado, who has a vacation home in South Florida.
On Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport surveillance video of the Jan. 18 incident that was broadcast around the world, a man investigators say is Ramos was seen behind de Regalado on the security checkpoint line.
Blaming herself for hurrying and juggling boots, a coat and multiple bags, de Regalado, 43, said earlier this week that when she last saw her watch and a bracelet, the items were placed in a gray plastic bin on top of her coat instead of inside of her purse.
Apparently the watch, a 10th wedding anniversary gift from her husband, as well as a bracelet that held a crucifix, slid into the next gray plastic bin.
On video, she is seen organizing her baggage and leaving behind the items that are noticed by a male passenger.
He pauses, and then picks them up and puts them in his backpack. He had several opportunities to turn the jewelry in to Transportation Security Administration agents or Broward Sheriff’s deputies, and continues to move beyond the security cameras toward the airport concourse.
Investigators say that on the day the jewelry was stolen, Ramos, who travels between Florida and New York for his auto sales business, flew to New York, where he has a home in Long Island.
He was home at a Sunny Isles condo when he was arrested wearing the stolen watch, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
“I guess he didn’t realize he was wearing a woman’s watch,” Leljedal said. #award