After Fort Wayne detectives presented a local man with the evidence, he admitted to stealing more than $11,000 worth of jewelry from A-Z Coins and used a stolen ID to pawn the merchandise at B&B Loan Co., Cash America Pawn Store No. 3 and the Indiana Loan Co.
Darryl J. Johnson, 49, of the 700 block of Davis Street, was charged Friday with fraud on a financial institution, forgery, identity deception and theft.
Johnson told Officer Joseph Lyon that he was trying to make extra money to pay rent and buy narcotics, court documents said.
At 1:45 p.m. June 25, according to court documents, Johnson walked into A-Z Coins with an accomplice. While his friend distracted the clerk, Johnson “jimmied” the lock of a display case and stole a tray of rings and diamond jewelry. The nine pieces had an estimated value of $11,338, court documents said.
Fort Wayne police obtained in-store surveillance video from A-Z Coins showing the two men undertaking the theft. Information came in from management at Cash America Pawn Store No. 1 and No. 3 that Johnson and his accomplice had been in their stores trying to sell high-end rings. At each store, Johnson presented an Indiana driver's license he'd previously stolen at a gas station, documents said.
Fort Wayne police used LeadsOnline to trace a 14-karat yellow gold pendant with a pear-shaped diamond sold at Indiana Loan Co. by a man using the stolen driver's license.
Johnson also used his actual Indiana ID card to sell four rings in two locations in Detroit. Police discovered 15 transactions using the stolen driver's ID, but only five of them were by the true owner.
Johnson was being held at the Allen County Jail in lieu of $22,500 bail. He has a court hearing Tuesday.