Ex-UFC Fighter Charged in New Jersey Jewelry Theft
Karl Roberson is accused of stealing more than $200,000 worth of jewelry and watches from a childhood friend.
According to the Howell Township (N.J.) Police Department, 32-year-old Roberson burglarized the home on West Farms Road with co-conspirator Dathan Thompson, also 32, on Dec. 26, 2022.
Roberson and Thompson are accused of stealing more than $200,000 in “exotic jewelry and valuables.”
In an interview with Fox News, the victim, Leonard, specified that the burglars made off with his $80,000 Rolex Presidential watch, $60,000 worth of Cuban chains, and a $30,000 bracelet, among other items.
Leonard said he’s known Roberson since he was 18 and the fighter was 14, both having grown up in nearby Neptune, New Jersey.
Leonard is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq from 2009 to 2010, and later found success with his product development, sourcing, and supply chain management business NJF Worldwide.
Roberson experienced his own come-up story as a kickboxer-turned-mixed martial artist who earned a coveted spot in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), mixed martial arts’ most celebrated league, in 2017.
His success, however, had recently taken a turn.
After a somewhat promising start in the UFC, COVID reschedules, health issues, and a couple of missed weigh-ins seemed to turn the tide for the fighter starting in 2020.
In July 2022, after four consecutive losses, the UFC released Roberson.
Howell Township detectives said they used, “advanced training in technical applications,” as well as cell phone data analysis to investigate the home burglary.
Leonard told Fox News he recognized the pink shoes one of the suspects wore in home surveillance video of the burglary as those of Thompson. He said Thompson had traveled the world with Roberson as his “right-hand man.”
Despite initially not believing police when they indicated Roberson could be involved, Leonard said he eventually realized the body language of the burglar—who, along with the other suspect, was wearing a hoodie, face mask, and gloves—matched that of his friend.
“I couldn’t unsee it as much as I wanted to,” Leonard told Fox News. He believes Roberson was able to case the house via before and after images he had sent him while it was being built.
On March 27, Roberson was arrested during a motor vehicle stop in Neptune.
Police said he was driving a car associated with the burglary. While searching the vehicle, officers found a “defaced 9 mm handgun with an extended magazine,” suspected packages of crack cocaine, and other items associated with the burglary.
Roberson has been charged with burglary, theft, criminal mischief, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and several weapons charges.
Thompson, who was arrested the same day as Roberson without incident at his home, is facing burglary, theft, and criminal mischief charges.
More than 250 gem, jewelry, and mineral companies are expected to exhibit, including the American Gem Trade Association.
This year’s Design Atelier is full of gems.
They’re a testament to the power of excellent design.
The most trusted diamond report, available in print or the GIA App.
This year’s honorees include one of Florida’s largest independent jewelers and two multi-store independents in the Chicago and New York areas.
The industry’s most influential contemporary designers are showcasing their latest jewelry designs.
Created by Maitri Lab-Grown Diamonds and graded by IGI, it’s slightly bigger than the record-setting lab-grown diamond GIA just examined.
Navigate origin determination with Continuing Education seminars offered by the GIA Alumni Collective™.
The marketing agency has integrated its first C-suite.
The jewelry trade show also will debut educational content centered around social media.
Luxury kicks off today, with the full show in swing on Friday.
One of the three new collections was inspired by the legend of a woman who traded her mansion to Cartier for two strands of natural pearls.
Rob Ballew will be tasked with communicating the jewelry giant’s plans and financial performance to investors.
With the app, customers receive a 15-day insurance offer on new purchases while their coverage needs are being evaluated.
It is in House of Showfields, a bazaar-style retail space in the borough’s Williamsburg neighborhood.
From consumer trends to retail technology, these are the JCK Talks sessions that should be on attendees’ radar.
Signature pieces from Cartier and David Webb will appear in the June jewelry auction.
They will be celebrated at the annual dinner dance and gala in the fall.
Gemologists have long used machines in diamond grading but technology has made it possible for them to “learn” how to do it on their own.
Supplier Spotlight Sponsored by IGI
Watch retailers Jeffery Bolling and Bobby Bengivengo discuss employee training, customer education and the sticky subject of future value.
The company has plans to revamp the Movado brand and offer less expensive watches this year.
Set with a 118-carat unheated Sri Lankan sapphire, it just sold for $3.4 million at Phillips jewelry auction in Hong Kong.
Sponsored by Noam Carver
As cybercrime incidents threaten the industry, jewelers need to know what they’re up against and the best ways to protect their businesses.
The Pittsburgh jeweler is redoing the lighting and showcases, and adding a full hospitality bar as well as new shop-in-shops.
The Yurman Family Crystalline Pass is inside the museum’s brand-new Richard Gilder Center.