Mexican telenovela star sues Saks after theft charge dismissed by Bexar DA

Danielle Arellano, 52, was accused of stealing from local Saks discount store


SAN ANTONIO – Mexican telenovela star Danielle Stefani Arellano, who was accused of stealing from a local Saks discount store, is no longer facing a theft charge and is now suing for damages.

The Bexar County District Attorney's Office dismissed the charge Nov. 28 after ruling there was "no probable cause for (Arellano's) arrest" and lack of evidence.

Arrellano, 52, was arrested Sept. 28 after a loss prevention officer at Saks Off 5th in the RIM shopping center accused her of walking out of the store with items hidden in her purse.

The loss prevention officer, identified as Dennis Belmonte, told police he saw Arellano take clothes off the hangers and place them in her purse. Belmonte said he then saw Arellano make exchanges at the register but made no attempt to buy the items she placed in her purse.

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Police said they recovered seven clothing items worth more than $100 but less than $750.

A day after the dismissal, Arellano's attorneys filed a lawsuit against Saks & Company and Belmonte.

Arellano made a public appearance Wednesday at a press conference in Mexico City, claiming she did not commit any crime and the experience left her emotionally unstable.

"This affected me emotionally much more than you can imagine. It is terrible to have panic attacks, which I did not know what they were," Arellano said during the press conference.

Arellano's attorney, Mark J. Fassold, said while they can't give an "exact figure," the suit will seek more than $1 million in physical and moral damages.

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