FCSO: Man uses hatchet to break into Palm Coast jewelry store 3 times

Store robbed for 2nd time in 11 months

http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20160628/news/160629526

PALM COAST — Employees at Greg Lynn Jewelers off Old Kings Road had a rude welcome when they arrived to work Tuesday morning, finding shattered glass littering the front entrance of the Palm Coast jewelry shop, vestiges of an apparent “smash-and-grab” burglary.

Flagler County sheriff’s deputies later arrested Craig Chavez, 51, of Reinhardt Lane in connection with the Tuesday morning break-in. The Palm Coast man faces charges of burglary, criminal mischief, theft of utilities, and possession of burglary tools in connection with the incident. He remained jailed Tuesday night on $10,000 bail, booking records show.

According to Flagler County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jim Troiano, Chavez used a hatchet to break out windows and enter the store twice early Tuesday morning. The first time came about 6 a.m. when he entered the shop with a plastic bag over his face and took a bag with nothing valuable in it. He was able to get away without triggering an alarm, according to investigation reports.

But Troiano said Chavez returned about an hour later and used a hatchet to break out another window, this time using a T-shirt to conceal his face. He took between 13 and 15 bracelets with a combined value of $500 and left, but not before exposing the license tag of his getaway vehicle. Troiano said also Chavez returned a third time with nothing covering his face.

Investigators traced the vehicle tag to the registered owner, who turned out to be Chavez’s girlfriend. Troiano said she told them that only she and Chavez used the vehicle, and deputies found and questioned Chavez. After he was arrested, they also recovered several of the stolen items. Some were stashed near the jewelry shop and other bracelets were found in Chavez’s dresser. Officials said they have returned several of the stolen items to the shop’s owners and the others are being processed as evidence.

The break-in resulted in between $3,000 and $4,000 in damage to the store, Troiano said.

It was the second such burglary in less than a year at Greg Lynn Jewelers, 101 Flagler Plaza Drive. Two men broke out the glass during an early morning robbery last July moments after they tried and failed to break into Sharp’s Liquor store, which sits two doors down from the jewelry store.

No arrests have been made in any of those cases and Troiano said investigators do not believe Chavez was involved with those robberies.

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