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Chiefland police charge man in $13,000 ring theft

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By The Staff

A Quincy man who had pawned one ring at Mitch’s Jewelry in Chiefland should have looked around for another shop before he tried to pawn a second one — this time a diamond and platinum ring valued at almost $13,000.

Chiefland Police Chief Robert Douglas said the suspect, Reginald Lydell Jones, 45, of McCall Bridge Road in Quincy, and Northwest Capital Circle in Tallahassee, was arrested July 18 and charged with dealing in stolen property, motor vehicle theft and resisting an officer without violence. Jones is incarcerated in Levy County Jail under a $79,500 bond.

Other police agencies are interested in Jones, Douglas said. “I think we’re going to find he’s involved in a string of snatch-and-grab thefts,” Douglas said.

Jones was being sought at the time in connection with the first ring he sold at Mitch’s Gold & Diamonds on North Young Boulevard. Levy Sheriff’s Lt. Scott Tummond was aiding Citrus County law enforcement in a jewelry theft case. The ring from that case was pawned at Mitch’s.

When the man, identified as Jones, returned to Mitch’s on Saturday seeking to pawn a ring, the staff notified the sheriff’s office and the Chiefland Police Department, according to the arrest report.

Chiefland Officer Ken Hutson and Levy Deputy Kevin Kinik and his K-9 partner arrived at the store as Jones was leaving. He fled around the shopping center where the store was located but eventually surrendered.

Hutson said clerks at Mitch’s said a woman and a small child who had been standing by a gold, four-door 2003 Toyota in the parking lot had accompanied Jones. Hutson located the vehicle and the woman who identified herself as Jones’ girlfriend and the infant as Jones’ child.

A vehicle check found the Toyota was reported stolen in May in Tallahassee.

“Defendant Jones told me that he didn’t steal the car but that he did know it was stolen when he found it unoccupied,” Huston said in his report.

“Jones also admitted to stealing the ring,” Hutson wrote in the report. He said at first,  Jones claimed to not know where he had stolen it, but later said it came from Macy’s in Pasco Mall in Port Richey and was priced at $13,000.

Jones also admitted to committing similar thefts in several other areas, according to the report.

Hutson said he spoke with a Macy’s security representative who confirmed there were jewelry thefts at two stores that were believed to be committed by a clean-cut man wearing nice clothes who drove a light-colored or gold four-door Toyota. She said one theft — of a 2.24 carat diamond ring in a platinum setting — occurred at 5:43 p.m. July 17 at Countryside Mall/Westfield Mall in Clearwater.

Jones has served time  for theft  according to the Florida Department of Corrections Web site. He was sentenced to 1 year and 1 day for grand theft between $300 and $5,000 in Duval County. He was released on Dec. 27, 2008, after serving 8 months of the sentence.

He was also incarcerated between 2003 and 2005 for two counts of grand theft of a vehicle in Leon County, and again in 2007 for grand theft of a motor vehicle.

The Chiefland Citizen is a sister-paper of the Times.