Jewelry store manager slain in robbery

A California jewelry store manager was stabbed to death Sept. 13 in what police say was a robbery-murder. He is the fourth jeweler to die in connection with a robbery this year, according to the Jewelers Security Alliance.

Marco Antonio Garcia, 54, of Stockton, Cal., was found about 10 p.m. in the Ybarra Jewelers store, in Stockton, by store owner Sam Ybarra, his brother-in-law, who called police, say local newspaper and TV reports. Garcia’s wife had called Ybarra when her husband didn’t come home from work. When Ybarra arrived, he found the store door open, merchandise in disarray and Garcia dead of multiple stab wounds, said media reports and the JSA Crime Alert bulletin. Police said there was no sign of forced entry, and no alarm had sounded, noted the reports.

No arrests have been made at press time, and there was no information on what was stolen. According to JSA’s Clime Alert electronic newsletter, Garcia was last seen as he locked up the store and was talking to three Hispanic males in a small compact car, possibly black or dark gray, in front of the store.

Garcia, the father of four children, worked at the jewelry store since the early 1990s. Media reports said he narrowly escape an armed robbery attempt earlier this year as he left the shop, getting to his car and driving away.

Garcia’s family is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the murder. Call the Stockton, Cal., police at 209 937-8323. Those interested in donating money can call Sam Ybarra at 209 547-0320.