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Subject: Beauty queen's arrest shocks Puerto Rico

Henry Pierson Curtis
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Date Posted: 02/ 4/05 5:09:12pm

Beauty queen's arrest shocks Puerto Rico

The host of a variety show on Univision is accused of shoplifting at Islands of Adventure.

By Henry Pierson Curtis
Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted February 3 2005

The months-old shoplifting case against a former Miss Puerto Rico became international news this week after she was booked into the Orange County Jail.

Brenda Robles' mug shot ran on the front pages of two of Puerto Rico's largest daily newspapers Tuesday, a day after her booking in Orlando. Television quickly spread the news across Latin America about how Robles, a host of Univision TV's Que Suerte! variety show, was charged last summer with stealing toys, trinkets and T-shirts from a store at Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure.

Robles, 29, has been suspended from the show, one of the island's most popular programs every Sunday, as a result of her arrest, the show's production company said Wednesday.

"This is stunning," said Lucy Romero, 56, standing Wednesday evening in Old San Juan's Plaza Colon. "She had everything, including a natural beauty. The island is just shocked."

Rumors of the pending arrest spread in Puerto Rico when a tabloid-style TV program, Channel 4's SuperXclusivo, ran a story about the case in Orlando against an unnamed celebrity.

Everything came together Wednesday when Robles' photo appeared on the front page of Primera Hora, Romero said.

Scandal has kept step with the beauty queen's career ever since she lost her Miss Puerto Rico crown in 1994 by showing up pregnant for the Miss Universe contest.

Universal Studios would not comment on the arrest, which occurred shortly before midnight July 27 inside one of the theme park's stores.

Arrests at theme parks are so common that they rarely draw public attention. But Robles essentially guaranteed hers would draw attention when she skipped a court date in September and prosecutors issued a nationwide warrant for her arrest.

According to Orlando police records, Universal's private security force watched as Robles, her three young children and their nanny, Lorelei Rodriguez, 19, pushed a baby carriage through the Trading Company.

"Robles approached a display where she removed one blue tank top valued at $19.95 and a pair of shorts valued at $25.95," a report stated. "Rodriguez then concealed the tank top and shorts along with numerous other items, utilizing a Spider Man towel."

A security guard stopped the group. Beneath the towel, the guard found merchandise valued at $837, the report stated.

Robles and Rodriguez could not be reached for comment.

Vanessa Vazquez Yuret and Ray Quintanilla of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report. Henry Pierson Curtis can be reached at hcurtis@orlandosentinel.com

or 407-420-5257.

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