Man accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from Naples store

Reporter: Lauren Leslie Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
accused jewelry thief
Credit: Naples Police Department

Police need your help finding a man they say stole thousands of dollars worth of gold necklaces. That accused thief is on the run after supposedly robbing a store at a mall in Naples right before it was set to close.

$100,000 worth of jewelry, to be exact. That’s how much Naples police says a man got away with in gold necklaces. Now, they need your help finding him.

WINK News Safety and Security Specialist Rich Kolko says it’s odd that someone would randomly decide to steal such high-value items. “You don’t just decide to stop into a store and rip off $100,000 worth of jewelry,” Kolko said.

But, on Saturday, that’s exactly what happened. “Might hear some people call this a crime of opportunity. This is probably gonna be a crime of planning instead,” said Kolko.

Ths heist happened in Naples at Prestige Jewelers located at Coastland Mall. It was approximately 15 minutes before closing time.

The store’s owner went to the bathroom. But as soon as he did, he heard an employee scream. “Jewelry stores or other stores that carry valuables may start cleaning up a little bit before the end of the workday,” Kolko said.

Pictures show the thief grabbing as many necklaces as he could get his hands on. Kolko says he knew which ones to target. “He knew exactly what to go in there and grab now he’s got valuable a jewelry that he can take and either sell elsewhere or even if he just wants to get rid of quickly and cheaply sell it to somebody who will melt it down,” he said.

Kolko believes there could’ve been a stakeout beforehand. “Whether he was there at an earlier time shopping, came in with somebody else had a lookout there. If he was inside the mall, there’s going to be plenty of security cameras there,” said Kolko.

The man was able to get away through a service door near the JCPenney. If you recognize the man in the pictures, you should contact the Naples Police Department.

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