HAGERSTOWN — A West Virginia man charged with stealing thousands of dollars in jewelry in smash-and-grab burglaries at Kmart department stores in four states in 2009 appeared in Washington County District Court Thursday for a preliminary hearing.
Bobby Lee Jenkins, 33, formerly of Gerrardstown, is serving a state prison sentence in West Virginia for breaking and entering and grand larceny convictions in Berkeley County, according to the state Division of Corrections.
District Judge Oliver J. Cejka Thursday found probable cause on charges of second-degree burglary, fourth-degree burglary, theft and malicious destruction of property to move Jenkins’ case to Circuit Court for trial, according to court records.
Shortly before 1 a.m. on Sept. 3, 2009, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Hagerstown police responded to a burglar alarm at Kmart, 1713 Massey Boulevard, according to the application for statement of charges. Police found the glass doors shattered as were the jewelry showcases inside the store, the charging documents said.
The 123 pieces of stolen jewelry were valued at $77,179.77, with another $2,188.63 in damage to the store, the documents said. A store surveillance camera captured images of a man breaking into the store with a hammer, the documents said.
A similar tactic was used when approximately $80,000 in jewelry was stolen from the Kmart at 1287 Winchester Ave., in Martinsburg, W.Va., on Aug. 24, 2009, the documents said.
Surveillance videos showed the burglar breaking in, as well as a man wearing a Nike T-shirt looking at the jewelry displays the previous day, the documents said.
Jenkins was identified as the man inside the store on Aug. 23, the documents said.
Fishermen found a bag containing jewelry boxes, labels and glass shards in Back Creek on Sept. 3, 2009, near Jenkins’ home, the documents said.
Six days after the Hagerstown break-in and the bag being found, the Kmart in Chambersburg, Pa., was broken into, where $28,000 in jewelry was taken, the documents said. Store surveillance video once again allegedly showed Jenkins was in the store a day earlier wearing a Nike T-shirt and looking at jewelry.
The Kmart in Front Royal, Va., was burglarized on Sept. 16, 2009, with surveillance video showing a man breaking the door glass and smashing display cases to steal rings and necklaces, the documents said.
On Sept. 17, a Kmart in Frederick, Md., was broken into in the same manner with an undisclosed amount of jewelry stolen, the documents said.
That same day, Jenkins was arrested and his home searched, where investigators from the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department finding “numerous bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces,” the documents said.
Jenkins was released on bond a few days later. On Sept. 28, the Kmart in Frederick reported an attempted burglary, the documents said. The doors were shattered and the burglar left the hammer behind, but nothing was stolen, the documents said.
Jenkins is serving one to 10 years for the Martinsburg burglary, according to the Berkeley County State Prosecutor’s Office.
Jenkins is also due in Frederick County Circuit Court in April on charges related to the Sept. 17, 2009, burglary, court records said.