Connect with us

Headlines

Suspect Pleads Guilty in $500,000 Robbery of Traveling Salesman

Sentencing is set for Aug. 12.

mm

Published

on

PITTSBURGH – A resident of Bogota, Colombia, has admitted in federal court to taking about $500,000 worth of gemstones and jewelry from a traveling salesman.

Oscar Javier Rodriguez Roa, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate federal robbery laws. Roa had been extradited from Colombia to Pittsburgh.

Podcast: A Flash of Cash and Other Meditations on the Value of Jewelry
Over the Counter

Podcast: A Flash of Cash and Other Meditations on the Value of Jewelry

Podcast: Craig Husar Discusses His Career, and His Spectacular New Store, on ‘The Barb Wire’
The Barb Wire

Podcast: Craig Husar Discusses His Career, and His Spectacular New Store, on ‘The Barb Wire’

Podcast: Make Sure You Open the Dang Box
JimmyCast

Podcast: Make Sure You Open the Dang Box

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Roa was a member of an organized South American theft ring that targeted traveling jewelry salespersons in the U.S. and elsewhere.

On May 5, 2013, Roa and his accomplices drove from Lawrenceville, GA, to Western Pennsylvania in a rented car to set up the heist, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

On May 8, 2013, in Wexford, PA, Roa and his three accomplices accosted a traveling jewelry salesman from New York City as the salesman exited his car in the parking lot of a jewelry store, according to the release.

Roa smashed the rear driver’s side window of the salesman’s car, reached inside the car, and stole a black shoulder bag containing gemstones and jewelry. The other robbers punctured the rear driver’s side tire of the salesman’s car, kept an eye on the salesman, and drove the Nissan Maxima getaway car.

Advertisement

Flight records showed that Roa fled the United States on May 16, 2013, by boarding a flight in Houston, TX, destined for Bogota.

“This prosecution should send a message to would-be international criminals, if you commit crimes against Americans, we will find you and you will be brought to answer for your actions in the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Scott W. Brady, FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Jones, and Chief Robert T. Amann of the Northern Regional Police Department.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 12. The law provides for a sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 76 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

He Thought It Was a Great Time to Retire — So He Called Wilkerson!

As David Kiselstein, owner of J. Albert Johnson Jewelers in Fairfield, CT says, it was a perfect time to close the store he’d owned for 45 years. “I’m 72-years old, the lease came due and I thought it would be a great time to retire.” A savvy businessman and one of the founders of the Continental Buying Group, Kiselstein urges others who want to conduct a retirement sale to pick up the phone and call Rick Hayes at Wilkerson. “He’ll talk you through it. He’ll help you understand it. He’ll give you the confidence you need to go through such a big experience.”

Promoted Headlines

Headlines

World’s Largest Diamond Mine to Close ⁠— Here’s What That Could Mean

The mine is known for producing pink and red diamonds.

mm

Published

on

Rio Tinto Group plans to close its Argyle mine in western Australia, and that could bring a rise in the price of pink diamonds.

The mine is well-known for producing pink and red diamonds, Bloomberg reports.

In fact, 90 percent of the world’s pink diamonds come from the mine, although such stones are only a tiny percentage of Argyle’s total production. The majority of its production consists of brown diamonds, which are less valuable.

The mine is the world’s largest producer of diamonds by volume.

Arnaud Soirat, head of copper and diamonds for Rio, told Bloomberg that operations will be shut down in late 2020. By then it’s expected that its supply of economically viable stones will have been exhausted.

Pat Godin, CEO of Stornoway Diamond Corp., has predicted that with the closure, “The rational offset between supply and demand should lead to price growth.”

He told Bloomberg that the effect could be “even more dramatic” for pink diamonds.

“You can imagine the laws of supply and demand will apply, and you can imagine the impact that will have on those very rare pink, red, blue and purple diamonds,” Godin said.

Read more at Bloomberg

Continue Reading

Headlines

Fashion Jewelry Chain to Close All 261 Stores

3,000 employees could lose their jobs.

mm

Published

on

Jewelry and accessories retailer Charming Charlie is closing all of its 261 stores in connection with its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed July 11.

Bloomberg reports that over 3,000 full- and -part-time workers could lose their jobs.

The bankruptcy filing is Charming Charlie’s second in the past two year, Bloomberg reports.

Store closing sales are being conducted by a joint venture consisting of Hilco Merchant Resources and SB360 Capital Partners, according to a press release.

Charming Charlie operates in 38 states. A full list of closing stores is available here.

Advertisement

The liquidation is expected to take two months.

The company’s debt totals $82 million, according to Bloomberg. Its cash on hand amounted to only $6,000  as of the bankruptcy filing.

Charming Charlie is a Houston-based specialty retailer focused on fashion jewelry, handbags, apparel, gifts and beauty products.

Continue Reading

Headlines

Serena Williams Wears the Most Unusual Ear Jewelry in Harper’s Bazaar Feature

Can you even call it an earring?

mm

Published

on

A new Serena Williams feature in Harper’s Bazaar is sure to attract attention.

The tennis player insisted that the photos be unretouched, and the cover shot features her mostly exposed backside.

But what might be most interesting to jewelers is the unique ear ornament she wore in one of the photos. We’re not even sure you can call this Gucci accessory an earring.

Could this over-the-ear look catch on?

INSTORE style writer Becky Stone doesn’t think so, although she likes the concept.

“I can hear the siren song of this piece! It takes the concept of jewelry adorning the body and elevates it by having the jewel actually become the body,” Stone said. “The look is surprising, sensual, and playful – an appealing combination. Serena looks like she might be a golden robot from the future, and I’m into it.

“That being said, I think there are a lot of practical barriers to the gilded ear’s mainstream appeal. Can she hear? Is her ear sweaty? How does that thing even stay on? I imagine it would have to be custom fitted, which is probably enough to price it out of the possibility of true street style success. I’d be very interested to see a scaled down version: maybe a smaller cuff that fits over just the upper cartilage, or a closely fitted lobe piece that’s anchored with a post for wearability.”

Beth Bernstein, also an INSTORE style writer, also felt the look was unlikely to take off.

“It might work for an editorial shoot or a runway show, but I don’t believe it will ever make it as a trend for even the high-end,” she said. “It kind of looks like the ‘Joker’s Mask’ for the ear.”

Jewelry professionals posting in our INSTORE Community group on Facebook had a variety of reactions.

Deirdre Crosse of Cipher Gems wrote, “Serena Williams requires an extraordinary design for it to register with the viewer. It’s a bold choice of adornment for strong subject.”

Deric Metzger, owner of DeMer Jewelry, commented, “This is the ear climber trend taken to its maximum natural conclusion and it’s every bit as unpleasant as I imagined.”

Other jewelry that Williams wore for the photoshoot included Cartier earrings, a Bulgari bracelet, a David Yurman bracelet and chain and an Audemars Piguet watch.

The photos appear with an essay penned by Williams about standing up for herself and becoming the strong woman, athlete and mother she is today. The issue will be available on newsstands July 23.

Continue Reading

Most Popular