Arrest made in jewelry theft ring

A fugitive accused of belonging to a jewel theft ring masterminded by Chicago’s former chief of detectives was arrested Wednesday in the suburbs outside Washington, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

William “Cherry Nose” Brown, 76, was picked up by agents in Woodbridge, Va., the FBI said.

Prosecutors say Brown was part of a ring of thieves led by former chief of detectives William Hanhardt that stole $5 million in gems, jewelry, and watches in eight states over a decade.

Hanhardt, who later became a technical adviser to Michael Mann’s 1980s television series “Crime Story,” was indicted in October 2000 along with five other men.

All but Brown have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

Brown, who formerly lived in Gilbert, Ariz., has been a fugitive until now, the AP reported. Details of what he was doing in suburban Washington and how the FBI discovered his presence there were not immediately available.

The charge against Brown is not as extensive as those against the others, the AP reported. But he is charged with conspiring with Hanhardt and the others to transport stolen luxury watches in interstate commerce.

Those who pleaded guilty pointed to Hanhardt as the leader of the ring, which used high-tech equipment and was able to get information about jewelry salesmen from police computers.

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