Daycare worker, Desire Santiago (pictured), awakened an 18-month-old sleeping toddler from her nap as she reportedly snatched a pair of gold and diamond hoop earrings from her ears. The alleged theft was captured on a surveillance camera and now Santiago is facing charges of grand larceny and possession of stolen property, according to the New York Daily News.
The footage which was shot at the Bronx, New York daycare, where Santiago was employed, reportedly depicts the 21-year-old woman picking up little Amia Santana (pictured), then setting the child on her lap, as she snatched the earrings from the baby’s pierced ears.
The earrings, which are 14-karat gold and have five encrusted diamonds, were a gift from the child’s grandfather for her birthday last March and are reportedly worth about $100, according to Amia’s mom Samantha Viera, who spoke to the New York Daily News. The mom, who is taken aback and “disgusted” by the alleged theft, told the newspaper, “To do this to a baby is unbelievable.”
Upon plucking the small baubles from the child’s lobes, Santiago, who lives in a homeless shelter with her 2-year-old, is viewed cradling Amia’s head in her arms, then afterwards, putting the little girl down again for her nap and leaving the area.
The theft occurred on December 5 and Viera called police as soon as she discovered the child’s missing earrings. Santiago was fired from the daycare as soon as the theft was reported to officials, and when confronted she told her employers that she removed the earrings from the child because one ear was red. Santiago then further stated that the other earring had already been missing from the child’s ear.
After viewing the surveillance camera video, daycare owners summoned police.
Police arrested Santiago on Wednesday for the alleged crime and also recovered the earrings.