Alleged Jewelry Theft Ring Busted in Michigan

Nineteen
Michigan residents, suspected of operating a nationwide grab-and-run jewelry
theft ring which stole $1.2 million in watches and rings from jewelers nationwide, were charged with
conspiracy and interstate transportation of stolen property in an unsealed FBI
complaint released by the U.S. District Court in Detroit May 19.

The
complaint says the metro Detroit-based operation hit more than 45 stores in 22
states on separate occasions from May 2006 through April 2011, and routed the
stolen items back to Michigan.

The thefts would generally involve a young male
entering the store to see high-priced jewelry. Once the employee retrieved the
jewelry from the display case, the suspect would grab the item and run out of
the store. In some instances, the suspect would grab the items by force.

The
suspects used three primary Detroit jewelry stores to sell the jewelry, the
complaint said. Some of the items were discovered at Zeidman’s Jewelry and Loan
in Southfield, Mich., a store raided by the FBI March 17.

Zeidman’s
attorney Jennifer Belveal tells JCK the jewelry store is cooperating
with authorities in the investigation. “Neither Zeidman’s, nor any of its
employees, have been charged,” Belveal says.

Some
of the information related to this investigation was derived from recorded
phone calls the suspects made from jail. 

Last year, JCK gave five tips to avoid grab-and-runs.

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