The owner of a jewelry store in Mountain Brook Village, Alabama, will be spending some time behind bars in a federal prison after he had a friend pawn jewelry and gems he had reported stolen from his own shop more than a decade ago.
Joseph Harold Gandy said he was robbed at gunpoint just as he got ready to close the store for the evening in December 2004. The so-called suspects made off with nearly $3 million in jewelry and loose gems.
But as investigators probed into the incident, although they had no hard evidence, started to feel something was awry about the ordeal and suspected that the supposed robbery may have been an inside job.
Then, in 2013, authorities received an anonymous tip that one of the pieces which had been reported stolen turned up at a local pawn shop in the hands of one of Gandy’s friends. Because the microscopic laser inscription within the one-and-a-half carat diamond revealed that it was stolen, the pawn shop owner refused to take it.
Gandy then apparently made sure subsequent items he attempted to have his friend pawn didn’t have an inscription, but all the same the jewelry was traced back to him.
After obtaining a search warrant, authorities discovered most of the “stolen” jewelry, as well as a large cache of some 99 weapons, which Gandy, who is a convicted felon, was prohibited from possessing.