Woman arrested in theft of $15,000 fur coat at MGM
A diner at Fish, the José Andrés seafood restaurant at the MGM National Harbor casino, found out the hard way that $15,000 fur coats sometimes have a strange way of disappearing.
In late January, the woman checked her full-length gray mink into one of the coat-check rooms at the casino in Prince George’s County. The coat was a special item from Neiman Marcus with sentimental value. It was monogrammed with her initials “FFH” inside.
But between the time she sat down for dinner — which could have included an appetizer of live sea urchin or shrimp and grapefruit cocktail followed by lobster jambalaya — and when she returned for the coat, it had vanished.
According to an application for a search warrant granted by the D.C. Superior Court earlier this month, here’s what happened.
Shortly after the woman left her coat, another woman, identified as Rosa Aviles of Southwest Washington, left her own coat, a black and white checkered number, in the same coat room.
Aviles later returned to reclaim her coat, but after two tries, the attendant could not find it. So the attendant then allegedly allowed Aviles, 45, to enter the coat room and look for it herself. After looking at all the coats, the warrant said, Aviles allegedly told the attendant that the full-length gray mink was, indeed, hers.
Security camera footage then captured images of Aviles wearing the mink over her pink collarless shirt and tan sweater as she left the casino.
That might have been the end of it had it not been for a sharpeyed Prince George’s County police officer, who recognized Aviles from a photo distributed during the investigation. The officer said he and Aviles worked in the same office, which happened to be the main county administrative building in Upper Marlboro.
Police obtained the search warrant on March 1 and recovered the coat the next day. Aviles has been charged with theft and is expected to appear in Prince George’s County District Court on April 7.
Reached by phone on Saturday, Aviles declined to comment. Officials with MGM National Harbor did not respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment on the incident and whether it has prompted any changes to coatcheck policies.