October 10, 2002
Police Nab 22 Jewelers in Fencing Sting
Following an 18-month investigation, police in New York City arrested a group of retail jewelers who bought and sold millions of dollars in stolen property.
Twenty-two owners and operators of jewelry stores on Manhattan's Upper East Side, in Harlem and in the midtown diamond district face charges that include enterprise corruption and possession of stolen property. Twelve stores were shut by police, New York City Police Chief Raymond Kelly said yesterday.
The suspects purchased stolen jewels from burglars for a fraction of their true value. Police said in most cases items taken in home burglaries were sold by thieves to the store owners, who then altered the merchandise within a matter of hours. "In some cases, when the items were expensive or they were rare, they were kept intact, usually to be sold overseas," Kelly said.
Police also confiscated luxury cars from the suspects.
by Michael Thompson