Thieves in This Multi-Million Dollar Cross-Country Jewel Heist Ring

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It was a crime spree that stretched over eight states and more
than 24 jewelry stores across the country. With a high level of
sophistication and planning, a team of thieves were able to steal
millions of dollars’ worth in diamond jewelry over an 18-month period,
starting in December 2009 until May 2011.

But thanks to social media and the crew’s unquenchable thirst for cold,
hard cash, police were able to track down and nab the thieves.

“What got ’em was greed. If they would have just stuck to the plan but
not showed the money off publicly, we might still be trying to figure
out who they are right now,” Portland Police Det. Eric McDaniel said.

3 months after the gang of 4 men stole a pair of diamonds worth $150,000
from the David Marguilis’ jewelry store in Portland, Oregon, on Dec.
15, 2010, police got their first big break when a tip helped identify
the man who ran out of the store with the diamonds as Victor Lupis.
During an interrogation, Lupis confessed to the crime and told police
that there was an entire cast of characters involved in the theft and
began naming the other thieves, police said.

The thieves all played different roles and had catchy nicknames such as
the “risk reducer,” the “runner,” the “hero stopper” and the “getaway
driver,” Lupis told police.

According to Lupis, Michael Young, who called himself the risk reducer,
was the ringleader, the mastermind behind their whole operation.
A federal judge sentenced Remor to 10 years in prison for his involvement in the jewelry thefts
During the jewelry thefts, police said Young sat outside orchestrating
the entire event while communicating through a disposable phone.
“He had the guys convinced that he pre-planned everything to a point
where the risks were reduced and there, the likelihood of them getting
caught was zero,” McDaniel said.
When Lupis told Young he left his fingerprints on the front door of the
Portland jewelry store, Young returned to the store during all the
confusion and wiped them off, Lupis told investigators.
According to detectives, Young, an ex-convict, implied that he was part
of a crime family and threatened retaliation to those who dared to cross
him. He was also a master manipulator, persuading new recruits with the
promise of money, Lupis told police.

Before the thefts, Young also went to stores pretending to be looking to
purchase an item while actually checking out the store’s security
measures.

“They usually go after a female, and an older female if they can because
they just believe that they’re just the most vulnerable person to steal
from,” McDaniel said. “Once they kind of built a relationship with an
employee at the jewelry store, they would start looking for the
higher-end diamonds.”

Without Lupis, Jack Cannon often played the role of the runner, McDaniel said.

Police were unable to find anyone who knew and liked Cannon because
“he’s a manipulator and only cares about himself,” McDaniel said.
“Matter of fact, we learned on social media that there’s a website
dedicated to Jack Cannon about all the girls that hate him,” McDaniel
said.
Cannon would dress the part of a high-end jewelry customer and was able to make people trust him.

“He was dressed up in a suit and tie. He drew attention to himself in
that the one that was able to identify him thought he was attractive,”
Tampa Police Department Det. Melinda Rewis, who was the lead
investigator of the jewel ring’s robbery at King Jewelers in Tampa,
Florida, told “20/20.”

Rewis said Cannon also altered his look by dyeing his hair blond.
Though police were able to identify Cannon by a fingerprint he left at
the Tampa jewelry store, Cannon, who was charged in the robbery, didn’t
show up for future court appearances and continued his robbery pattern
across the country, Rewis said.

“What’s memorable about Jack Cannon is his demeanor and the way he talks
to people, that’s what people most remember about him,” Las Vegas Det.
Aaron Lee, who investigated Cannon’s involvement in a robbery at the
Jewelers of Las Vegas store, told “20/20.” “This was a classic con man.
He did everything right to make people feel comfortable when he went in
the store.”  

The group’s social media photos of their travel helped detectives track
their movements, eventually helping lead to their arrests.

“As the case progressed and we learned more about where the suspects had
committed diamond thefts, we were able to look on the social media
sites and see some correlating photos from where the crimes had
occurred,” Hughes said.

At the sentencing hearing this past February, a federal judge called
Young a crafty, intelligent man who moved around his less savvy
co-defendants like chess pieces. Young was sentenced to nine and a half
years in prison. 

Cannon is now serving a 30-year sentence after being indicted on charges of robbery with a weapon and conspiracy.
The second-in-command to Young’s risk reducer role was the “hero stopper” Ernest Remor, Lupis told police.
“The person that stops the hero is gonna have some spray on him or
something to try to incapacitate the good citizen trying to stop the
thief,” McDaniel said.
Remor and Young, both in their 30’s, had tried and failed to steal
diamonds before and spent some time in prison for their efforts.
After each theft, Remor flew to Jewelers’ Row in Philadelphia with the
stolen diamonds that they could sell for cash at the Three Gold Brothers
store.

“They found a shop in Philadelphia that would play by their rules, so to speak, and taking their merchandise,” McDaniel said.

A federal judge sentenced Remor to 10 years in prison for his involvement in the jewelry thefts.
According to Lupis, the team’s getaway driver was Trey Adams.

“He can never bring himself to do the actual theft of the diamonds, but
his big role was to steal cars, usually minivans, and be the getaway
driver,” McDaniel said.

Adams drove a white Dodge minivan he stolen when the thieves robbed the Portland jewelry store, Lupis told police.

“You steal a car, and it was never registered to you. There’s nothing on
paper showing you put money down for it, and that way you can just
leave it,” McDaniel said. “So there was a risk there, but I think it was
a smart one.”

Source- ABC News

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