Suspected jewel thieves arrested after eluding authorities for decades

Three men accused of terrorizing nearly two dozen jewelry stores have been on the run for more than 30 years until now.

Hernando County Sheriff’s Office say suspects targeted stores across our state, including some in Southwest Florida.

Detectives say suspects carried out each burglary the same way by breaking into a neighboring business to get into jewelry stores.

Among the stores, the men are accused of breaking into Amore Jewelers in Bonita Springs. It was called “Family Treasures” when the location was hit four years ago.

A nearby restaurant owner says he remembers when the burglars broke in.

“We found out somebody break through,” Adel Khelil said. “Destroy the place and stole some of his stuff.”

Image of rare jewelry stolen by accused jewel thieves. Credit: shared with WINK News.

Investigators found stolen jewelry at a thrift store owned by one of the three suspects, and that’s what led them to cracking the case.

Investigators say the rarity of the jewel allowed them to trace it back to one of the burglaries.

Hernando County deputies say the jewelry stolen was worth $16 million.

The men are also accused of burglarizing a jewelry store in Port Charlotte.

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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