Posted on January 21, 2013 at 7:10 PM
Monday, Jan 21 at 7:21 PM
CONOVER, N.C. -- In December Kerri Burwell of Conover found herself the victim of a crime. The man she once considered a friend she says stole thirty pieces of jewelry from her home.
Burwell put up a $500 reward up on her Facebook page tracking down the culprit, however recovering her jewelry has been a frustrating process.
“I’ve looked at this (eBay listing) and cried many times,” say Burwell.
Burwell claims half a dozen of her missing jewelry was for sale online: A gold necklace, an engagement rings, even a 3.38 carat sapphire princess Diana Ring she says her mother wore at the time of her passing. Burwell estimates the ring is worth more than $2,300.
She paid $734 to purchase the ring before it was sold to someone else. She believes the Ebay retailer out of Greensboro is receiving stolen merchandise from a jewelry store that buys and sells at a local flea market.
"When I asked if charges are being brought against them in the previous cases, they told me no, because they were buying it from a flea market and they didn't know it was stolen,” says Burwell.
The company in question tells NBC Charlotte, none of the six pieces Burwell claims belongs to her could be traced to the secondary jewelry store she says supplies the stolen merchandise.
The owner of the company says their records show, every piece was purchased from several different and reputable gold dealers over an extended period of time. Burwell has a hard time believing this, but admits she has no way to prove it.
“It’s not something you see every day, in fact when I was looking to find replacement costs, I could not find one”, says Burwell. “What kind of coincidence would it be to see multiple pieces of jewelry like mine at the same spot."
The online retailer says the industry is well regulated and all jewelry is held for the required length of time before it is sold. The owner adds that most of the pieces sold online are mass-produced, non-custom pieces.
That’s not good for Burwell who estimates $40,000 worth of jewelry was stolen. She knows a number of her custom pieces will be hard to find online, but she plans to monitor such websites. She is desperately searching for a gold diamond ring with bamboo accents.
Her mother had it reset from an engagement ring, and passed it down to her. "It means a lot to me because my mom and dad are both deceased and it is something that never can be replaced.”
If there is a lesson to learn from this, it’s this: “The biggest thing is, if you have jewelry that is sentimental to you, have your initials or something unique engraved on the jewelry, so that if it is ever stolen you have a way to show it is definitely yours,” says Burwell.