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Md. man arraigned in W.Va. jewelry theft

March 15, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - One of three people who authorities believe was involved in the theft or attempted theft of jewelry from malls in four states last year was arraigned Thursday in Berkeley County Magistrate Court in connection with an incident at Martinsburg Mall, according to records.

Bruce Timothy Shelton, 48, of Hillcrest Heights, Md., was charged with grand larceny on July 9, 2007. The charge stemmed from the theft of six diamond rings from Friedman's Jewelers, according to court records.

Shelton was in Eastern Regional Jail Thursday night on $15,000 bond, according to jail records.

According to Martinsburg Police Department Patrolman Q.D. Burner's complaint, Shelton arrived at the jewelry store with a woman, and he distracted the sales associate by holding a ring out to the side, according to court records.

A second male suspect approached the open jewelry case from behind the sales associate and took a ring display holding six rings valued at $16,005, put them under his shirt and walked out of the store, Burner said.

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The female who arrived at Friedman's with Shelton then asked for the location of a restroom and left the store, and Shelton asked the sales associate for a credit application and left the business as well, Burner said. Video surveillance showed both men in the store together before the jewelry case was opened, police said.

Police in Delaware linked Shelton and Adrian James Lomax to four similar thefts and two attempted thefts at Macy's store locations in Maryland and Virginia, Burner said.

After being arrested Sept. 4, 2007, in Prince George's County, Lomax was extradited to Delaware on a warrant stemming from two jewelry thefts that happened there July 18, 2007, Burner said.

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