Calaveras County sheriff’s detectives arrested a suspected thief Wednesday, Jan. 30, who allegedly made off with almost $2,000 in jewelry from Firefall Jewelers in Valley Springs last month.
Preston Johnathan Hackett, 18, of Valley Springs was arrested on suspicion of felony burglary. On Wednesday, Jan. 2, the Sheriff’s Office was notified of an alarm sounding at Firefall Jewelers in Valley Springs. Deputies discovered a shattered glass front door, a shattered glass jewelry case and empty boxes and jewelry lying on the floor near the door. It appeared that the burglar had fled the scene just prior to the deputy’s arrival, the Sheriff’s Office said.
During the ensuing investigation sheriff’s detectives were able to obtain security camera footage from Firefall Jewelers as well as from surrounding businesses. The security footage revealed that a man smashed the front door, rushed into the store, went to a particular display case, and made away with several pieces of jewelry. He was in the store for less than 10 seconds, and as he ran from the store he fell, dropping some of the jewelry.
On Wednesday, Jan. 30, based on information learned during the investigation, detectives served a search warrant at a residence on Grouse Drive in Valley Springs, the home of an alleged 16-year-old female suspect. Detectives interviewed the female and obtained additional information as to the possible identity of the burglar. During service of the search warrant investigators were able to recover a piece of the stolen jewelry inside the female’s bedroom. She was issued a criminal citation for felony possession of stolen property.
In the course of ongoing interviews, the detectives were able to identify Hackett as a suspect. He went to the Sheriff’s Office Wednesday, Jan. 30, and was arrested. During the subsequent interview, Hackett allegedly admitted involvement in the burglary. He was booked into the Calaveras County jail on the charges of felony burglary.
In all, a total of $1,975.00 worth of jewelry was stolen. The damage to the store was estimated to be about $3,500.