Jewel Thief Suspects Doubled as Jewelers

Three men suspected in dozens of ­jewelry thefts were arrested in Texas. In a bizarre twist, they also owned a jewelry business.

According to the Houston Police Department, Jason Clay Kennedy and John Dewayne O’Brien have been charged with engaging in organized criminal activity in connection with the $6 million burglary of Dallas-based Karat 22 on Feb. 5.

Police suspect the pair and Kelvin O’Brien, arrested Sept. 25, stole millions from dozens of jewelers in Texas, Oklahoma, and perhaps Florida, as far back as 2000.

Sgt. Peter Schneider, of the Houston police’s major theft task force, tells JCK the men ran two gold buying and selling businesses in the Dallas area and one in Fort Worth. The company, identified as New York Gold and Silver Exchange, is now closed, Schneider says. The trio allegedly “got into the gold business as kind of a front, so they could sell it to guys who smelt it,” he adds.

That also helped them learn about alarms, says Sgt. Frank Quinn. “When they were getting an alarm installed, they asked a lot of questions.” 

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