NAUGATUCK — Police have arrested a man accused of stealing nearly $100,000 worth of cash and jewelry from his ex-girlfriend’s home after a four-month long investigation into his whereabouts.
Yeonjong Ryu, 35, was charged Thursday with first-degree larceny and third-degree burglary. He was arraigned Friday and was held at New Haven Correctional Center on a $85,000 bond.
Naugatuck Police Department began its investigation on Sept. 2 after the man’s ex-girlfriend reported a safe containing $8,000 cash, $90,000 worth of jewelry and credit cards was stolen her home, said Lt. Bryan Cammarata, spokesman for Naugatuck Police Department. She had been away for two weeks before discovering that the safe was missing.
The woman told police she believed Ryu, who was living in Queens, broke into her house through the garage and stole the safe. Since then, police have been trying to find him.
Ryu’s last known address is listed as 41-26 Sanford St. in New York City, but at some point he moved to Los Angeles, police said. In October, Naugatuck police secured an extraditable arrest warrant for Ryu.
Last week, New York Port Authority Police learned that Ryu was flying from Los Angeles to New York City and took him into custody, Cammarata said. Port Authority police held him at Queens Court House until Naugatuck officers arrived Thursday to pick him up.
It’s unclear what happened to the valuables after they were removed from the woman’s Naugatuck home.
In late September, Ryu became suspicious that police were looking for him and called his ex-girlfriend to say he was going to return the missing items.
He mailed her a package from Los Angeles, which she opened under the supervision of Naugatuck police, Cammarata said. The package contained her safe and some credit cards and papers, but the cash and jewelry weren’t there. When she contacted Ryu by phone, he said the valuables must have been stolen while the package was en route.
Police are investigating whether the package was opened while in transit, and whether a U.S. Postal Service employee removed any of the contents. The package was a different weight when Naugatuck police weighed it than when it was mailed.
“There’s a possibility that the box was intercepted by someone else, but detectives are still looking into it,” Cammarata said.
The safe contained various types of jewelry including a Rolex watch, diamonds, necklaces, bracelets and earrings, police said.