KNOXVILLE (knoxnews.com) -A Greenville, S.C., man sits behind bars after authorities said he stole more than $70,000 in jewelry and cash from the home of Jim Haslam, the founder of what’s now Pilot Flying J and father of Gov. Bill Haslam .
Joshua Ryan Vandeventer, 30, was charged with two counts of aggravated burglary, theft of $60,000 or more and theft of $500 or less. He remained in jail tonight on a $107,000 bond.
Jim Haslam could not be immediately reached for comment.
According to an arrest warrant, between 6 and 11 p.m. on March 20, Vandeventer entered the home of Jim and Natalie Haslam on Lyons Bend Road and pried open a drawer in an upstairs walk-in closet. He stole about $72,735 in jewelry, as well as about $1,000 in a cigar box near the drawer, according to the warrant.
The Haslams told detectives they noticed some of the jewelry had been coming up missing for several weeks prior to the March 20 thefts.
“The defendant’s vehicle was observed by a witness on the victim’s property near a gate partially up the driveway at 7:30 p.m. on March 20, which is within the four-hour time frame of the victims being gone,” according to the warrant.
Vandeventer was employed by the Haslams but was fired April 29 after being videotaped breaking into a drawer that contained the couple’s personal information, a key to the house and the alarm code, according to the warrant.
According to the warrants, Vandeventer returned to the Haslams’ home at about 9:45 p.m. on July 4 and set off an alarm that recorded movement in the foyer and the upstairs area.
“The front security door was pried open, but the main door behind it was still locked. The defendant then put a ladder up onto a balcony on the back of the house and entered an unlocked set of french doors on the second level,” the warrant said.
About $500 in cash was taken from the cigar box in the walk-in closet.
According to the warrant, Vandeventer sold several pieces of the stolen jewelry between Jan. 28 and April 29 for a total of $5,125 — with the last sale made on the same day he was fired.
“A witness stated that the victim’s name was on one ring in particular that was sold and the victim’s initials are on others,” according to the warrant.
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