Jewelry Thief Arrested
Valley Springs, CA – A second Firefall Jewelry store in Valley Springs was hit by burglars. Calaveras County Sheriff’s Officials say they’re not sure if this burglary is related to the store robbed in Copperopolis last Thursday. They say that’s because the man arrested for the Valley Springs burglary doesn’t fit the description of the man who entered the Copperopolis Firefall Jewelry store and robbed it holding what he claimed was a hand grenade. Click here for an earlier story on that robbery.
Sheriff’s Officials say on Saturday an alarm went off at Firefall Jewelers in Valley Springs. When deputies arrived at the store they discovered a shattered glass front door. Once inside the store they found a smashed jewelry case, empty boxes and jewelry lying on the floor near the door. They say it looked like the thieves had fled the scene just before the deputy arrived.
Security camera footage showed a man smashed the front door, shattered the display case, and took several pieces of jewelry. Sheriff’s Officials say he was in the store for less than 10 seconds and fell as he ran out the store, dropping some of the jewelry.
An investigation led detectives to a home on Grouse Drive in Valley Springs. They interviewed an alleged 16-year-old female suspect and got possible information on the identity of the burglar. Detectives found a piece of the stolen jewelry inside the girl’s bedroom. She was cited for felony possession of stolen property.
Through further investigation and interviews detectives were able to learn the identity of the burglar. He is 18-year-old Preston Jonathan Hackett of Valley Springs. He was arrested and charged with felony burglary.
Sheriff’s Officials say $1,975 worth of jewelry was stolen and damage to the store was estimated at around $3,500.