Santa Clarita woman suspected of stealing $500,000 in gold bars, cash from Lake Elsinore home; owner attempts suicide
A Santa Clarita woman suspected of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and precious metals from a Lake Elsinore homeowner was being held today in lieu of $399,000 bail.
Yelena Alexandrovna Kellum, 42, was arrested and booked into the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on Saturday on suspicion of grand theft.
According to Riverside County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brett Seckinger, Kellum allegedly made off with a sizable stash of gold coins and bars, cash and a semi- automatic handgun located inside a residence in the 15000 block of Orion Street, near Shore Breeze Street.
Deputies were alerted to the alleged theft on Jan. 27, when the resident, whose identity was not disclosed, attempted to commit suicide, apparently after discovering the valuables missing.
The victim was taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar for treatment and has since recovered, according to sheriff’s officials.
Seckinger said the victim’s relatives told investigators that nearly $400,000 in cash, $151,000 in precious metals and a gun had been stolen from the home.
According to the sergeant, investigators were given Kellum’s name, and after gathering additional information related to the case, search warrants were obtained and served at the suspect’s residence on Soledad Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, as well as at a storage unit leased under her name in the city.
Seckinger alleged most of the stolen property was recovered, with the exception of about $40,000 cash.
“Evidence was found showing suspect Yelena Kellum was preparing to leave the country,” Seckinger said, adding that several other suspects were identified.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the sheriff’s Lake Elsinore station at (951) 245-3300.