Industry / Security & Crime

Michigan Jeweler Accused of Acting as “Fence”


Maro Jewelers in Oak Park, Mich., acted as a “fence” and purchased nearly $150,000 in stolen jewels from a Detroit-based robbery crew, according to the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.

In a complaint filed April 10 in federal court, U.S. Attorney Dawn N. Ison said the allegations stem from an FBI investigation of “organized groups” that conducted over 30 “smash-and-grab” and “grab-and-run” thefts at jewelers from August 2018 to April 2021.

The filing said that approximately $149,000 in stolen items was discovered in Maro’s inventory during an April 2021 search by the FBI. Among them were several pieces worth more than $10,000 each—including two diamond rings stolen from a Kay Jewelers in Michigan worth $20,000 apiece and a loose diamond from a Jared in Texas valued at $13,240, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

In at least one instance, Maro paid a low price for a pilfered diamond, “because its proprietor knew, or had reason to believe, it was stolen,” according to the complaint. It said the FBI has evidence that Maro likely acted as a fence for Brian Moore and Darrell Reed, both of whom have pleaded guilty to participating in some of the robberies.

The government is demanding Maro forfeit $172,380 seized in the FBI’s raid of Maro.

Maro Jewelers could not be reached for comment.

JCK has tips on how stores can keep themselves safe from smash-and-grabs here.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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By: Rob Bates

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