NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio - North Olmsted police are in search of a jewel thief who took more than $74,000 in customer jewelry that was being shipped by UPS for customer repairs.
According to police, the thief took the jewels in four separate shipments from August 2011 through March of 2012. In each case, the jewelry was being shipped by UPS back and forth to the Sterling Jewelers repair facility and the Jared Galleria of Jewelry location at Great Northern Mall.
North Olmsted police reports indicated the jewels were packed in boxes with repair receipts, but when they arrived at their locations the jewels were missing, and tape on the boxes had clearly been tampered with.
Michelle Bussard lost her 13-year-old wedding ring in the theft that was reported to police on April 3.
"I went with my claim ticket to pick up my ring. They were searching and searching and searching, and then she said your ring was stolen," said Bussard.
Bussard showed NewsChannel5 the repair receipt for her wedding ring, after she dropped it off for repairs at the Rodgers Jewelers location at Midway Mall in Elyria.
"When I dropped off my ring on March 28, other people sent in their jewelry for repair as well," explained Bussard. "They put it all in one box, shipped it through UPS, and when it made it to the other jeweler a day later, the box was empty."
Bussard told NewsChannel5 Sterling Jewelers Inc., which runs J.B. Robinsons, Rogers, Kay and Jared locations throughout northeast Ohio, did a good job replacing her stolen ring. However she said she believes Sterling Jewelers Inc. should change its policy on how it transports customer jewelry that has been take in for repairs.
"I'm not satisfied with the policy of sending jewelry through UPS. Would you send $29,000 through UPS? Why are you sending $29,000 worth of jewels through UPS?" said Bussard.
Investigators with North Olmsted police said they have still not found a suspect in the series of thefts. 5 On Your Side contacted UPS about this case, but so far has not been given a response.
NewsChannel5 contacted Sterling Jewelers Inc. about the stolen jewels, and it issued the following statement:
"Incidents of this type are terribly unfortunate and we take them very seriously. We appreciate that you recognize our efforts in replacing customers’ jewelry when it is lost or stolen by common carrier delivery companies responsible for its safe transport."
"Please be assured that our Loss Prevention team works very closely with the common carrier delivery company involved, as well as, local law enforcement on both recovery and responsibility. In addition, when incidents of this type occur, every effort is made to work diligently with each customer to replace their merchandise.
Sterling Jewelers Inc. would not comment on whether it is considering another method of transporting customer repair jewelry in the near future, issuing the following response:
"While continuous improvement is a key principle of our company’s practices, I’m sure you understand that it would be inappropriate for us to publicly comment on our merchandise transportation policies and procedures for security reasons."
Look for updates on the search for the jewel thieves on NewsChannel5 and on newsnet5.com.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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