OKLAHOMA CITY - You know the jingle "jewelry is the gift to give” but, last February, a thief also thought it was the right thing to steal.
Fortunately, a traffic stop led to the recovery of thousands of dollars of merchandise from BC Clark.
“The initial break-in, there was between $50,000 and $75,000 worth of jewelry taken,” said M.Sgt. Gary Knight.
Rings, watches and pocketknives were all stolen. A security guard at the jewelry store, seeing the heist in action firsthand, called police.
“The suspect made entry by smashing a glass door, going in there, smashing display counters, taking some high-end knives, pocket watches and rings,” Knight said.
Months went by with no arrests, and the stolen items hadn't appeared anywhere.
“There were a lot of men's rings, particularly men's wedding rings. There were some watches that were diamond encrusted, obviously very expensive jewelry,” Knight said.
Police got their break at an intersection. An officer stopped a driver who blew through a stop sign.
Andre Hawkins' license was suspended, and a search of the car delivered the big surprise.
“They found a bag containing a large amount of jewelry," Knight said.
The officer found dozens of rings, many still with price tags, some still on their finger displays. Two diamond-encrusted watches and several pawn slips were in the glove box.
“These items were taken in a February burglary of a BC Clark store,” Knight said.
Hawkins was booked in the Oklahoma County Jail on several charges. Investigators are still trying to determine if all the stolen jewelry is accounted for.