Men arrested after $250K worth of handbags, jewelry taken from Encore hotel room

An investigation into stolen jewelry and handbags from an Encore hotel room valued at $250,000 lead to the arrests of two suspects, a month after the burglary. (Photos: LVMPD)

An investigation into stolen jewelry and handbags from an Encore hotel room valued at $250,000 lead to the arrests of two suspects, a month after the burglary.

Police said they saw Jesus Cervantes on security cameras arrive at Encore in a Mercedes-Benz on Nov. 12.

He was seen going up to Jeff and Michelle Berk's room with a black shoulder bag that looked empty while talking on phone. Lock interrogation records showed the room was opened at 11:38 p.m. and dead bolt was locked at 11:40. At 11:43, Cervantes was seen going back downstairs with same black bag, but full.

When police found Cervantes, he named Carlos Valle, an Encore employee as a friend of his. Cervantes said the day before the burglary, Valle told him about room at Encore with lot of valuables in it. Cervantes said Valle told him to meet on 18th floor and he would give him the goods, according to the arrest report.

Cervantes said he did not go into room himself; Valle gave him the items. The two met later and Valle got the items back to be stored somewhere else, police said.

Cervantes told police he regretted what he did. He said he did it because he had fallen on hard times and Valle agreed to give him portion of what was taken. The two had planned to turn in the stolen items.

Carlos Valle was found by police. He led police to location of stolen goods but did not admit to being person who opened Berk's door from inside.

During their short vacation to Las Vegas, Jeffrey Berk said he lost big, with thousands of dollars worth of items stolen from his Encore Hotel suite on Nov. 12.

Berk had offered a $25,000 cash reward to anyone who returns his stuff, no questions asked.

Berk said he was out in the town with his wife. He said they left their hotel room, with keys in hand and headed out to the Tony Bennett concert, but when he returned, the room wasn’t how he left it.

“The hotel door was open, the deadbolt was open in the room,” Berk said. “I immediately realized two of our laptops were gone, and I did an inventory of the room. My watch roll was gone, my wife's watch roll was gone, a piece luggage a Louis Vuitton rolling bag was taken."

He said in total, thieves made off with over $250,000 worth of merchandise from his Encore Hotel suite, including a $12,000 Hermes Birkin bag, a $50,000 Cartier bracelet and a $125,000 Chopard watch set.

“These are things that we buy and own because they have a high resale value,” Berk said. “It is no different than an Apple stock for us financially."

Berk has made a living by successfully sourcing and delivering top of the line authentic Hermes Birkin handbags, purchased by the likes of celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Keyshia K'aoir.

And he's no stranger to the valley, spending a lot of vacation time and money at the Encore hotel, he said.

“I'm going to suggest I've spent at least 150 nights here." “So for someone whose been coming here over and over again, I'm absolutely shocked that the hotel has never apologized to us, they never said 'Mr. Berk, we're shocked this happened.'"

Instead, he claimed he was met with backlash for going straight to the police, who said they have a couple leads.

“As told to me as recently as three hours ago the leads. PD are pursuing are still some employees," he said.

The Encore who sent back a statement saying in part: "We are fully cooperating with Metro on this matter and have communicated that to the guest. As an alleged theft, Metro is the investigatory expert on this matter as they are with all alleged thefts."

As for Berk, he said he does plan to return to Las Vegas in the future, but next time, he'll try another hotel.

“How I feel now is totally dejected."

The Wynn released a statement to FOX5 on Friday which stated:"Working very closely with Metro, the Wynn Corporate Investigations team assisted in identifying the individual believed to have committed the theft. Additionally, the Corporate Investigations team assisted Metro in identifying how this incident occurred and potential associates who are believed to have assisted in the theft, one of which was a Wynn employee. The employee has been terminated and Wynn will be pursuing all appropriate legal action against the employee, in addition to the criminal charges brought by the District Attorney. We thank Metro for their hard work and cooperation."Copyright 2017 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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