Former Jeweler Pleads Guilty to Theft

A Pennsburg, Pa., man who took jewelry from 26 customers then sold much of it and kept the proceeds, was sentenced Monday to three years’ probation and ordered to repay all his former clients, The Morning Call of Allentown reports.

John A. Ward III, 40, pleaded guilty to theft and related charges in a Bucks County courtroom.

Ward, who operated two jewelry stores in Doylestown, Pa., took his customers’ jewelry between November 2004 and September 2007, at one point owing as much as $24,729 to 15 victims, the newspaper reports.

Ward’s attorney reportedly said that amount should be reduced because Ward turned over all the jewelry he kept and could recover, and police are trying to track down owners.

Ward’s attorney reportedly said his troubles began to multiply when he and his wife started having marital problems, the newspaper reports. She moved out of state and he developed a drinking problem, according to the lawyer.

At one point, Ward was working two jobs trying to keep his head above water, the attorney reportedly said.

Ward’s store, J.A. Ward Jewelers, closed last year, the newspaper reports. He is now in the construction business, according to his attorney.