Black Friday Theft Suspect Arrested in Missouri

A woman who allegedly stole $13,732 of diamond earrings from
Randy’s Jewelry on Black Friday, Nov. 26, was arrested in O’Fallon, Mo. Nov.
30.

The St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney is charging Anne
Darleen Smith, 65, with theft and stealing of less than $25,000, according to
an O’Fallon Police Department press release.

Anne
Darleen Smith

According to Randy’s co-owner Randy Hudson, a thief
distracted an employee during a Black Friday rush and walked away with a ramp
of diamond earrings in her purse. The theft was caught on video surveillance.

The purse and wig the thief was said to have used in the
surveillance video were seized at the time of Smith’s arrest. Smith was
identified from the video and a photo line-up.

O’Fallon city police officer Diana Damke tells JCK that
Smith was transported to the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department but did
not know if she was currently in their custody. Her bond is set at $25,000 with
no 10 percent authorized.

Hudson
tells JCK he believes the media’s help and the offer of a $1,000 reward is what
lead to an arrest. “We think the police worked diligently and were a key
ingredient.”

Hudson says sharing the surveillance video with the media and offering a reward
was a big risk but he is happy with the results. “It sounds to me that this
person hit other jewelers in our area. We had several calls from jewelers that
thought that she was the same person who hit them. So we’re happy with the fact
that we bit the bullet and put the reward out.”

Hudson says the diamonds have not yet been returned to the store.

Video of the theft can be seen here.