A Newport Beach woman accused of stealing merchandise valued at more than $2 million from a high-end jewelry store at South Coast Plaza and threatening security guards with a knife in making her getaway pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony charges.
Karen Yvonne Floyd, 54, is charged with second-degree robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, both felonies, as well as a misdemeanor count of brandishing a weapon. She also faces a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon.
Floyd, who was arraigned in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana, was ordered to return to court Jan. 24 for a pretrial hearing at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.
Floyd went to the unnamed store in the Costa Mesa shopping center about noon Saturday and asked to try on several pieces of high-end jewelry, according to Roxi Fyad of the Costa Mesa Police Department.
After putting on the jewelry, she asked to see the gems “in the sunlight” and was told she could not leave the store with the valuables, but continued walked toward the entrance, where she allegedly threatened the security guards with a large kitchen knife, Fyad said.
The guards followed her and took a photo of her car’s license plate, which led police to Floyd, she said.
Investigators served a search warrant Monday at the suspect’s apartment, which yielded the stolen jewelry and the knife allegedly used in the heist, and she was arrested in the lobby of the building without incident, Fyad said.
The jewelry was returned to the store, she said.
Floyd also faces two other pending cases in which she is charged with felony car theft and misdemeanor battery.
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