Single man on robbing spree arrested in Birmingham.
SaferGems has helped to assist the arrest of a man believed to be behind a spate of jewellery thefts totalling £500,000.
The man was arrested in Birmingham on November 13 and is currently being detained on suspicion of thefts across the country and has been charged with seven different offences across six different counties.
SaferGems was first made aware of the man on September 11 when Lincolnshire Police received a report of theft of a gold and diamond necklace valued at £20,000 from a store in Lincoln. Reports detailed how a male entered a store and used a classic distraction technique to steal the necklace.
Simon Watson of the Lincolnshire Police Force said: “Pretending to buy a ring, the man approached the counter and got out his wallet to pay then saying he needed to speak to his wife, he walked outside and ran off.
“The assistant alerted the store manager to CCTV images which showed the theft of the £20,000 necklace taking place.”
Watson added: “The [police] collaborated with SaferGems and sent CCTV images of the suspect for identification. SaferGems disseminated these images nationally and identified the man as being responsible for a series of similar offences all over the UK.”
An “eagle eyed jeweller” in a store within the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham recognised the man from the SaferGems Alert and phoned in his suspiciouns. The suspect was apprehended and searched, and was found to be in possession of three fake diamond rings which he is likely to have used in a distraction or substitution theft.
He has now been changed with seven offences across the UK with thefts so far amounting to a value of just over £300,000. He is also being questioned over alleged offences for thefts in Norfolk and Lancashire where he is thought to have stolen jewellery to the value of £141,700.
National Association of Goldsmiths chief executive and SaferGems co-founder Michael Hoare said: “It’s amazing how one man could continue to get away with this for so long. That’s why we’re glad SaferGems has helped us to catch up with him.
“Once again we see how SaferGems is helping jewellers and police bring jewellery thieves to account.”