Couple arrested after allegedly trying to sell stolen gemstones in Nevada City
A couple who allegedly tried to sell a number of gemstones ended up in county jail after a search warrant reportedly uncovered not just stolen property, but illegal weapons at their home.
The arrests came after the gemstones were linked to an unsolved commercial burglary, said Nevada County Sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Jakobs.
An art studio in the Loma Rica business park was broken into last summer, with the victim reporting the theft of the gemstones, as well as “oil rigs,” or glass honey oil bongs, drones and rare shells. The total loss was estimated at about $100,000, Jakobs said.
“We had no suspect information and the case went cold,” Jakobs said.
But last month some of that stolen property surfaced.
The couple had gone into a Nevada City store with a makeup bag and spilled the gemstones out on the counter, Jakobs said.
“They appeared to have no clue as to their value,” he said.
The suspicious store owner sent out information on the items and the couple and was able to track down the rightful owner, according to Jakobs. Someone else who received the alert was able to identity the suspects, Jakobs added.
After the information was provided to the Sheriff’s Office, a search warrant was obtained for the Vista Avenue residence of Terry Lorraine Harkins, 24, and Joseph Emmanuel Brock, 36. During a search of the premises, detectives reportedly found an AR-15 style assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, as well as an illegal “drum” magazine for the rifle. A check of the weapon’s serial number revealed it to have been reported stolen in 2017 in Nevada County, Jakobs said.
The stolen gemstones were also located at the residence, along with most of the other items taken during the same commercial burglary, he said.
According to Jakobs, detectives had received a tip that Brock might have been involved in several burglaries from A to Z Supply only weeks earlier.
During the search, they reportedly located a number of those items, including two of three stolen air conditioner units and a weed eater.
Brock was booked into the Nevada County Jail on charges of resisting or delaying an officer, unlawful possession of an assault rifle, ex-felon in possession of a firearm, ex-felon in possession of ammunition, committing a felony while out on bail, second degree burglary and receiving stolen property. He was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Harkins was located not far from the property and deputies stopped her SUV, Jakobs said. She was detained and a search was conducted, which reportedly uncovered prescription medications not lawfully prescribed to her. Harkins was arrested and booked into the Nevada County Jail on charges of receiving stolen property, possession of a controlled substance, and committing a felony while out on bail. She was being held in lieu of $21,500 bail.
The investigation into these thefts and other associated crimes continues, Jakobs said.
Brock and Harkins had been arrested in July after they drove up to a residence where a man had just overdosed. There reportedly was a knife and a handgun in the vehicle, as well as a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.
Brock was arrested on suspicion of being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, while Harkins was booked into jail on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia. No criminal complaint has been filed to date, however.
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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