HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island woman is accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from the homes of people who hired her to tutor their special needs children.
Bonni Blier, 36, of Ronkonkoma was arrested Tuesday evening for allegedly stealing from four Hauppauge families who noticed valuables missing after the tutor left, CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
Blier is a special education tutor who was providing in-home tutoring under the name Miss Bonni for children in the victims’ homes.
“She was in the clients’ homes, where she had been before, and at some time during the tutoring sessions, she managed to go into another part of the homes and steal jewelry,” said Suffolk County Police Sgt. Terence Mawn.
“Most of the articles were gold and precious metals. They were stolen while she was there at the houses,” Mawn told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “The people trusted her to tutor their children and she repaid that by stealing their jewelry.”
Police said Blier pawned a stolen ring for $8,500 and lifted a jewelry box out of a bedroom, put it in her car, then continued tutoring a student, Gusoff reported.
Blier is charged with criminal possession of stolen property and petit larceny. She pleaded not guilty and is being held on $40,000 bail.
It was also revealed in court Wednesday that Blier has a grand larceny charge pending against her in Nassau County, also for taking jewelry from a home.
Blier’s neighbor in Ronkonkoma said the victims should have been less trusting, Gusoff reported.
Blier’s former employer at Hauppauge-based Metro Therapy, which provides special education services, said he was floored by her arrest.
“Obviously stealing from anybody is a violation. And stealing from someone whose, you know special needs, is more of a violation,” said Conrad Kupferman, of Metro Therapy.
Police offered advice so other families can prevent a similar situation.
“Find out the background of all the people that you have coming into your house and don’t leave them alone in the house,” said Mawn.
Blier was placed at times by a Huntington agency called Up Wee Grow. Agency officials called her arrest terribly disturbing. They said she is a certified teacher and passed all background checks.
Detectives are asking other clients to check for missing valuables.
Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call police at 631-854-8446.
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