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Newport woman pleads not guilty in $2-million jewelry store robbery at South Coast Plaza

Karen Yvonne Floyd
Karen Yvonne Floyd, 54, is charged with felony second-degree robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, as well as a misdemeanor count of brandishing a weapon.
(Courtesy of Costa Mesa Police Department)

A Newport Beach woman accused of stealing merchandise valued at more than $2 million from a high-end jewelry store at Costa Mesa’s South Coast Plaza and threatening security guards with a knife pleaded not guilty to felony charges Wednesday.

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 allegation of personal use of a deadly weapon.

Floyd, who was arraigned in the Orange County Jail courtroom in Santa Ana, is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Jan. 24 at Orange County Superior Court’s Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.

She was released from jail Thursday after posting bond, according to jail records, which list her as unemployed. Her bail had been set at $100,000, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

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Floyd’s public defender, Jared Stephenson, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The crime occurred when a woman went to the store, which police have not identified, at 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 couldn’t leave the store with the valuables. She continued walking toward the exit and threatened security guards with a large kitchen knife when they tried to stop her, Fyad said.

The guards followed her and took a photo of her car’s license plate, which led police to Floyd, Fyad said.

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Investigators served a search warrant at Floyd’s apartment Monday and said they found the stolen jewelry and a knife believed to have been used in the robbery. Floyd was arrested in the lobby of the apartment building, Fyad said. The jewelry was returned to the store, she said.

Floyd also was arrested Dec. 14 and charged with unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle, a 2020 Land Rover, according to jail records and the district attorney’s office. She was released on bond a few days later. A pretrial hearing in that case is expected next week, according to the DA’s office.

Daily Pilot staff writer Faith E. Pinho contributed to this report.

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Updates:
10:57 AM, Jan. 16, 2020: This article was originally published at 8:03 a.m. and has been updated with additional information.

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