Man Charged in $250K Plaza "Princess" Heist

Police initially identified victim as a princess, but there are no royal blood lines in the United Arab Emirates.

Tuesday, Nov 8, 2011  |  Updated 7:29 AM EDT
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Police say the merchandise stolen was worth more than $200,000.

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A serial thief has taken about $250,000 worth of jewelry, electronics and other valuables from the luxury Manhattan hotel room of a woman from the United Arab Emirates, authorities say.

Suspect James Bennett is due back in court Nov. 21 after a procedural appearance Monday.

He faces grand larceny and other charges in an Oct. 30 theft from Arwa al-Qassimi's room at The Plaza hotel and the Oct. 24 disappearance of employee paychecks from an office in another hotel.

Bennett had been due to find out Monday whether he was indicted. Defense lawyer Javier Damien says he agreed to give prosecutors more time to investigate.

A court complaint says about $35,000 worth of the items stolen from The Plaza were found in Bennett's home.

Police initially identified Al-Qassimi as a princess, but there are no royal blood lines in the United Arab Emirates, which is run by ruling families in each of the seven semiautonomous emirates.

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