Columnists Archive Switch artist plagues southern retail jewelers

Switch artist plagues southern retail jewelers

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In our April issue we reported on a jewelry switch that took place in Winston Salem, NC. ("Will this man walk into your store next?" April 2009, pg 2). The perpetrator, who's picture was featured with the story, was very smooth and had gotten away with cash and left behind fakes, even after expert evaluation by a veteran jeweler.

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Security camera image of a suspected switch artist entering a North Carolina jewelry store.

 

 

Well, we are not happy to report that this was not his first switch. When a friend saw our April report and called Doug, the owner of Doug's Coin and Jewelry, Inc, in Homewood, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham, he was certain it was the same guy who had done the same thing in his store.

On December 9, 2008, Doug was approached by a man he did not know who wanted to sell some items. He had a four carat diamond ring, a pair of diamond earrings and a Rolex Daytona. After examining the merchandise and finding the ring to be of exceptional quality, the store owner carried them around the corner to a friend who is a gemologist for further evaluation. The gemologist verified that indeed the ring was of exceptional quality and the earrings and Rolex were genuine. With a video recording of the entire event, they were still not able to see when the switch occurred.

"This guy is obviously very good at what he does," said Doug.

If you see this man, have had the same scenario take place in your store or have any information, please call Detective Shawn Rankin at the Homewood, AL police department, phone 205-332-6236, case #081200202.
 
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