Sneak Thief Wanted for Hitting Stores in 7 States

CrimeAug 11, 2020

Sneak Thief Wanted for Hitting Stores in 7 States

The suspect has been on the JSA’s radar since last fall.

Kansas City, Mo.—The Jewelers’ Security Alliance is on the lookout for a man authorities say has stolen jewelry from retailers in a spree spanning seven states.

On Monday, JSA issued an alert about the suspect taking a 3-carat diamond from a jewelry store in the Kansas City, Missouri area late last month.

According to the bulletin, he visited the store on July 30, the day before the theft, and was “all over the board” on what he wanted to see.

When the suspect returned the next day, he parked his car, a white Pontiac sedan, in the parking lot of a shopping center across the street.

JSA said he entered the store wearing a baseball cap and the kind of face mask worn to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which he did not have on the previous day, President John J. Kennedy noted.

He ignored the owner’s greeting—Kennedy said he was “very gruff”—and headed straight into the bridal room.

With all staff members busy waiting on customers in the other room, the suspect grabbed a set of keys from behind the showcase and quickly returned to the customer side, JSA said.

After a few tries, he was able to unlock the showcase, took the diamond ring and put the keys back in the drawer.

No one at the store noticed the ring was missing until the next day.

Security camera stills of the suspect from jewelry stores he’s hit in Manlius, New York (far left), Kansas City, Missouri, and Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photos courtesy of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance)

When the pandemic first spurred the widespread wearing of masks in early spring, Kennedy told jewelers not to view customers’ mask-wearing as a potential threat on its own but instead to look out for masks coupled with other common red flags.

In this case, the suspect came into the store the day before with no apparent agenda, wore a ballcap in addition to the mask and more suspiciously, Kennedy said, parked across the street instead of in front of the store, presumably so employees wouldn’t see his vehicle (which was captured on the store’s exterior cameras anyway).

In addition, showcase keys should be kept with the owner or employees or locked up somewhere in the store, not left in the lock, on the counter, in a drawer or hanging from a hook.

The suspect wanted in a spate of sneak

thefts at jewelry stores was last seen driving this white Pontiac sedan.The suspect is believed to have pulled off similar thefts in at least eight or nine jewelry stores spanning seven states: Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, North Carolina and Oklahoma.

He is described as a white male in his late 30s or early 40s with a distinct speech pattern or speech impediment of some sort.

He first came on the JSA’s radar in fall 2019 when he allegedly pocketed loose diamonds at a jewelry store in Manlius, New York and stole a watch from another store in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“He is strictly a sneak thief,” Kennedy said.

This suspect doesn’t pull a gun or smash up the showcases; he simply gets his hands into open showcases or uses keys to reach in and grab a couple items.

Kennedy also noted the suspect, who is believed to be working alone, is mobile, as he’s been able to hit stores spanning from New York to Oklahoma.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

Model Wearing Eat Cake Collection
CollectionsApr 16, 2024
Akaila Reid Launches ‘Eat Cake’ Collection

It’s ultra-feminine and filled with gold, pearls, and soft pastels.

Emily Highet Morgan, Emily Bennett
MajorsApr 16, 2024
Loudr Adds 2 Directors

Emily Highet Morgan and Emily Bennett have joined the agency’s team.

Stuller catalogs
MajorsApr 16, 2024
Stuller Releases First Lab-Grown Diamond Jewelry Catalog

Its updated book for mountings is also now available.

Brought to you by
The Blueprint for Success in Scalable, Personalized Jewelry Retail

With Ho Brothers, you can unlock your brand's true potential and offer customers the personalized jewelry experiences they desire.

Headshot of Karen Rentmeesters
SourcingApr 16, 2024
Karen Rentmeesters Takes Over as Interim CEO of AWDC

She has been with the organization since 2010, most recently serving as its chief officer of PR and industry relations.

Weekly QuizApr 11, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this seven-question quiz.
Take the Quiz
Joyce’s Jewelry
TechnologyApr 15, 2024
Judge Rules Jeweler’s Lawsuit Against PNC Bank Can Move Forward

Joyce’s Jewelry sued the bank after cybercriminals drained its accounts of nearly $1.6 million through a series of wire transfers.

Alfred W. DeScenza
IndependentsApr 15, 2024
Alfred W. DeScenza of DeScenza Diamonds Dies at 95

He is remembered by loved ones for his loyalty, integrity, and kindness.

Jewelers of America Fly In Washington, D.C.
Brought to you by
How Jewelers of America Represents Your Business

For over 30 years, JA has advocated for the industry, fought against harmful legislation and backed measures that help jewelry businesses.

Madeleine K. Albright
AuctionsApr 15, 2024
Madeleine K. Albright Jewelry, Pins Coming to Auction

Hosted by Freeman’s | Hindman, the sale will take place May 7-8.

Audemars Piguet circa 1985 emerald car watch
AuctionsApr 15, 2024
All of Sotheby’s ‘Rough Diamonds’ Sold in Less Than an Hour

The auction house said all 24 timepieces offered in its underground sale of rare and avant-garde watches quickly found buyers.

AGS Conclave 2024 logo Austin
Events & AwardsApr 15, 2024
10 Can’t-Miss Sessions at AGS Conclave 2024

From lab-grown diamonds and AI to the inevitable Taylor Swift mention, here are some of Conclave’s most intriguing educational offerings.

My Next Question webinar
Recorded WebinarsApr 12, 2024
Watch: What Jewelers Need to Know About Insurance

From cybersecurity liability to trade show coverage, insurance experts share tips on how to build the right policy.

Evil Eye Charm with Turquoise Disc
CollectionsApr 12, 2024
Piece of the Week: Lionheart’s Evil Eye Gemstone Charm

The charm is a modern rendition of the evil eye amulet that has been worn for thousands of years.

The Jewelry Symposium scholarship winners 2024
Events & AwardsApr 12, 2024
The Jewelry Symposium Announces 4 Scholarship Winners

Ahead of its trade show next month, TJS awarded free registration and accommodations to one jewelry professional and three students.

SRK Empire and SRK House
Policies & IssuesApr 11, 2024
SRK Exports’ Journey Toward Net Zero Impact

By the end of this year, SRK’s diamond manufacturing complexes will achieve net zero emissions, one of an impressive array of achievements.

AGTA logo
Lab-GrownApr 11, 2024
AGTA Bans Lab-Grown Diamonds, Gemstones at GemFair

Members can still sell lab-grown stones, it said, but only natural gems are allowed on the show floor.

Steven Rosdal
IndependentsApr 11, 2024
Steven Rosdal, Co-Founder of Hyde Park Jewelers, Dies at 77

He is remembered for his charisma, passion, integrity, kindness, and wit.

Macy’s Herald Square store
MajorsApr 11, 2024
Macy’s Opens Books for Possible Buyout

The retailer also appointed two new board members, avoiding a proxy fight from a potential buyer.

Sylvie Jewelry model
CollectionsApr 10, 2024
Sylvie Launches New Nature-Inspired Collection, ‘Tulira’

The bridal collection consists of 35 engagement rings and seven wedding bands.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea in 18-karat yellow gold
WatchesApr 10, 2024
These Are Rolex’s New Watches for 2024

The crown introduced a dozen timepieces in Geneva, including a heavy metal version of its deep-sea divers’ watch.

Levy’s Fine Jewelry diamond education
IndependentsApr 10, 2024
Levy's Fine Jewelry Explores Diamond History

The family-owned jeweler has a new education section on its website dedicated to the history of diamond cutting.

With Clarity NFL wedding bands
CollectionsApr 10, 2024
With Clarity Partners With NFL on Wedding Bands

The limited-edition men’s rings can be customized with one of 12 team logos.

Asian Star’s diamond manufacturing facility in India
SourcingApr 10, 2024
Compliance, Caution, and Concern: The Current Outlook of Indian Diamantaires

There is a willingness to comply with new government-mandated regulations, with an insistence that they should be practical and realistic.

Chrono24 watch inspection lab
WatchesApr 09, 2024
Chrono24 Debuts Pre-Owned Watch Authentication Program

The program, now live in Europe, will roll out to the U.S. this summer.

6.21-carat fancy vivid pink diamond
AuctionsApr 09, 2024
Phillips to Offer 6.21-Carat Vivid Pink Diamond

Colored gemstones and signed jewels are the focus of its upcoming Geneva sale.

Lucapa rough colorless and pink diamonds
SourcingApr 09, 2024
Former De Beers Exec Appointed to Lucapa Board

Stuart Brown, who was De Beers’ CFO and interim CEO, is now Lucapa’s independent non-executive chairman.

Jewelers for Children POS System Donations
MajorsApr 09, 2024
Jewel360 Announces New POS Integration, JFC Partnership

The point-of-sale software can now prompt customers to round up their credit card purchases as a donation to Jewelers for Children.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy