KIM SMITH DEDAM
SARANAC LAKE —
Police have arrested a teen in connection with a November jewelry heist on Broadway.
They did not release the name of the young man, who is 17, due to court-designated youthful-offender status.
He faces three felony charges — third-degree burglary, third-degree grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property — along with a single misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief.
Saranac Lake Police Chief Bruce Nason said they received “numerous, numerous” leads in the case, which led to the arrest at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The Twin Crystal Rock Shop was burglarized on Nov. 20, when, police said, the teen broke a window to gain access.
Nearly $16,000 worth of high-end silver, turquoise and southwestern style pieces was stolen from display cases.
The suspect was allegedly caught with a suitcase containing stolen items.
“We recovered some of the jewelry found in a pile where he was living at that time,” Nason said. “He had in his possession between 90 and 100 pieces of jewelry.”
Police calculated a rough estimate of what they found so far from pieces that still bore price tags.
“We have contacted the jewelry store owners and showed them the pictures. We are still working on the value of what has been recovered, but there is a rough estimation of over $3,000 worth of jewelry found — only half of the items had price tags still attached,” Nason said.
They also recovered 10 necklaces from a pawnshop in Plattsburgh, Nason said.
Store owners Kasey and Kean Riley kept the jewelry store open through the holidays.
“We’re certainly relieved,” Kean said Thursday.
“We hope we’ll be able to get at least three-quarters of our jewelry back.”
The young man is one of a group of kids who had been in the shop many times, watching and learning how to cut and set crystals.
Riley also did not provide the young man’s name, given his youthful-offender status.
Twin Crystal had provided an apprentice program and classes for people who enjoy learning about and working with rocks and gems.
Riley said he and his twin brother, Kasey, had obtained information from someone who gave the alleged thief a ride to Plattsburgh and found a Twin Crystal jewelry tag in the car afterward.
“He turned himself in about three weeks ago,” Riley said of the arrest process. “They (police) were waiting for the rest of the investigation.”
Many interviews led police to the suspect, Nason said.
“When we got to his location, he was very cooperative and turned over what jewelry he had in his possession.”
It was the young man’s first arrest.
But it may not be the last in connection with the robbery at 13 Broadway.
“We’ve got two or three leads to follow up on. It appears that maybe more than one person was involved,” Nason said.
Police are continuing to ask the public for leads in the case.
“We believe some jewelry may have been given to friends of the people involved.”
Anyone who may have information about the Nov. 20 burglary or who received jewelry they suspect may have been stolen can call Saranac Lake Police Department at 891-4422.
The alleged burglar was arraigned in Saranac Lake Village Court on Wednesday and released to the supervision of Franklin County Probation Department.
“I’m sure his cooperation had a lot to do with his release,” Nason said.
The arrest is apparently not connected to the pre-holiday burglary at Ampersound.
“This is the only place he burglarized that we can show at this time,” Nason said.
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