Jewelers Help Capture Suspect

A jewel thief long-sought by the FBI and local police was captured in late June, thanks to the alertness and quick actions of husband-and-wife jewelers and their staff in Mount Home, Ark.

The man identified as Jorge Enrique Campos was sought by authorities for the August 1996 theft of a 1-ct. $4,000 diamond ring from a jewelry store in Brainerd, Minn. Campos allegedly walked away with it after inspecting some expensive watches and then asking to see a tray of diamonds rings to choose an anniversary gift. He was suspected of committing or attempting to commit similar crimes in other jewelry stores, including Carter’s Jewel Chest in Mount Home in November 1996. In that instance, though, the sales associate asked for the ring back before he left. However, store owners Beth and Theron C. Carter took note of his description and kept the Jewelers Security Alliance bulletin about him, including his picture, on file in case he ever came back.

On June 23, he did, and store gemologist Mike Jaeger recognized him. Jaeger signaled the Carters and kept Campos busy at the sales counter while Mrs. Carter called local police and JSA, and her husband asked a long-time customer to get the license number of Campos’s car.

Campos became suspicious and left, but police caught and arrested him about 10 miles away. In the car, they found jewelry that they suspected had been stolen.

JSA president John Kennedy commended the “fast-thinking” jewelers, calling them “security-minded jewelry industry heroes.”