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Employee arrested for stealing and pawning jewelry from J.C. Penney

A 31-year-old Central Kitsap employee at J.C. Penney was stealing from the store’s jewelry department and was arrested for theft and the trafficking of stolen property Aug 1.

The department store’s loss prevention officer contacted the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and a sheriff’s deputy arrived at about 10:15 a.m. The loss prevention officer said the employee had been working at the store since November 2010 in the jewelry department and estimated that she had stolen between $50,000 to $70,000 in fine jewelry since January. The officer told the deputy that he was informed about a month ago of the employee’s actions by her estranged husband who said she was stealing jewelry and pawning it locally.

The officer observed the employee select multiple items of 14-karat gold jewelry and placing them in her shoe Aug. 1 through security camera recordings. The items totaled $4,956.96.

The employee told the deputy that she has been going through a custody battle and has an addiction to Percocet and that she spends $60 to $100 a day for the drug. She admitted to multiple thefts since January by placing the jewelry in her shoes or pockets of her clothing. She also admitted to stealing a wallet from her supervisor in June but when she discovered there was no cash, she threw it in a garbage can in the mall. She said she has received more than $2,000 in cash for pawning the jewelry since April. The deputy obtained pawn records detailing the woman’s pawn history since 2009. The manager of Pawn X-Change in Bremerton was contacted at about 1:00 p.m. by the deputy to put all items on hold. The 31-year-old was arrested for first-degree theft and the trafficking of stolen property and booked into  jail.

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