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Antique thefts might be connected

Three people are being sought by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office for allegedly stealing more than $3,000 in jewelry from a local antiques mall and they might be connected to a similar theft in Columbus.

Detectives referred to the theft May 31 as a “bait and switch,” at the Heart of Ohio Antique Center, 4785 E. National Road. According to the incident report, three people entered the center, with one man staying behind to serve as the look-out while another man and woman headed to a secured jewelry counter.

“As the male distracted the employee, it appears that the female loaded her purse up with several pieces of jewelry,” said Detective James Hollopeter.

The items were being sold on consignment. The jewelry was mostly gold, silver and platinum rings, some with diamonds, and valued at $3,250, Hollopeter said.

The three suspects were captured on surveillance footage and seen leaving the mall parking lot in a silver Dodge Dart, possibly with Arizona license plates, according to the report.

The same suspects match the description of those wanted for a similar theft at the Powell Liberty Antique mall in Columbus. Hollopeter said he is working with detectives there to verify if the cases are connected.

In the 15 years the mall has been open, general manager Earnest Jarrell said it hasn’t had to deal with too many thefts like this, and they usually catch who is responsible before they get through the doors. A $200 reward has been offered to anyone who provides authorities with the information that leads to an arrest.

“We’d like to ask the public’s help, to help us bring these people to justice,” Jarrell said. “We will catch them. We’ve gotten everyone that’s stole from us here at the mall.”

Anyone with information can call the sheriff’s office at 937-328-2560 and ask for Hollopeter.

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