JD Loan, cited in the latest police investigation, was previously ordered by the state licensing department to pay $400 in penalties for not recording items properly. The company was also reprimanded for entering incorrect driver's license numbers from people who sold gold jewelry, an iPod, a guitar and a rifle, according to a case summary on the department's website.
In addition to the licensees, police also arrested and charged three people in connection with a burglary in Westminster. Baltimore County and Westminster police are investigating whether the defendants are tied to additional burglaries, totaling up to $100,000 in stolen property.
Westminster police charged Lee and William Bircher, 24, both of Westminster, and Matthew Short, 31, of Manchester.
Neither Lee nor Bircher has a lawyer listed in electronic court records, and Short's attorney could not be reached for comment.
Capt. Pete D'Antuono, commander of the Westminster police Criminal Investigation Bureau, tied Bircher and Lee to the daytime burglary at a home on Uniontown Road in Westminster. "They weren't taking anything really large," he said, mentioning mostly cash and jewelry — items that were "not necessarily traceable."
When police went into Crown Jewelry, they questioned Rodchenko, one of the owners.
Rodchenko said the shop had not purchased any items recently, and the detective told him about the surveillance conducted on the two women. The detective then looked inside the store's safe and found a shoebox with several pieces of jewelry inside plastic bags labeled 10kt and 14kt, according to charging documents.
Police did find a transaction sheet, with one woman's name and signature and another piece of paper with a name and "$925" written on it in ink. But the sheet made no reference to what the store had purchased, police said.
Baltimore County police then contacted Westminster police, who said they matched the items to burglary victims in Carroll County.
The jewelry was missing all the stones, and one watch was already broken into pieces to be melted down, charging documents said. None of the other items were tagged to show where they came from.
The next day, the suspects went back to the shop and police conducted surveillance. The women did not stay inside the shop long, and they then drove down Reisterstown Road to JD Loan, according to the documents. Detectives went in later that day to talk to Doyle, the owner.
At first he told police the woman brought him only scraps, but then he brought out additional items, the document says. Both women told police they had sold items to the shops before and even when they offered IDs, the owners did not take them, according to charging documents.
Among the items that were recovered from the Reisterstown stores was a wedding band reported stolen with the inscription "To Chooch Love Bob 10-15-55."
Anne Beach, whose Reisterstown home had been broken into through the kitchen window, said she was happy to have the family heirloom back, even though the inscription was rubbed off.
"I had over 100 pieces of jewelry stolen," she said. But of all of the items stolen, including her own wedding ring, she said she wanted her mother's wedding band more than anything else.
"You can't replace that stuff," she said."Both of my parents are deceased, so it just means that much more to me."