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Six People Face Felony Charges in Westerville Jewelry Heist
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Six people face felony charges in a $1 million jewelry robbery in Westerville over the weekend. The accused are in custody in New Jersey where they were arrested.
Westerville Police Chief Joseph Morbitzer said he doubts the crime was coincidental. He said it could be part of a national ring.
“When you get suspects leaving Los Angeles, going to Chicago, renting a car there to come to the Columbus area and then going to New York to possibly fence the stolen property, this is much more than a localized incident,” Morbitzer said.
It’s not known at this time if the accused followed the jewelry merchant from Indiana to Columbus, or if the crime originated here.
“It would be very coincidental if they just happened upon him. Therefore, it would lead you to believe that there for a period they tracked him.,” he said.
Three people robbed Frank Simpson of $1 million worth of jewelry in a parking lot in Westerville. Simpson was in town to sell the jewelry at a trade show at the Ohio Expo Center.
The individuals involved in the robbery and three other people were arrested at a New Jersey hotel about 40 minutes outside of New York City.
Morbitzer said evidence from the rental car and information from Los Angeles police led investigators to believe the individuals would be in the New York area.
Police have not released the names of the accused, although fingerprints found in the rental car are linked to three of those arrested. Morbitzer said the FBI is still trying to identify the people. He said the case will be tried on a federal level. The location, though, will be left up to the FBI. It could be here in Columbus.
The people arrested have been charged with receiving stolen property, fleeing and tampering with evidence – all of these charges are at felony levels.