METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) – The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating a theft of pawnshop jewelry that store workers attribute to gypsies.
Authorities say this happened on March 22 at the Cash America Pawn store in Metairie.
Employees told MPs that two women walked into the store and asked to see several pieces of jewelry, then agreed to purchase about $ 7,000 worth of matching pieces.
The sale did not take place because the employee said the women would not provide identification. JPSO says Louisiana law requires buyers to provide identification if a customer uses a credit card or tries to purchase a gun from a pawnshop.
MPs say the employee told them the women started speaking Spanish and then switched to another language, possibly Portuguese, when they found the employees could understand them.
When the women left, the employees noticed that a $ 1,800 gold chain was missing.
After reviewing the surveillance video, police said that one of the women was seen concealing the jewelry in her purse during the question of identification.
Employees told MPs they believe the women may be part of a nomadic ethnic group, the Roma, also known as Gypsies. Jefferson Parish MPs said the Jewelry Security Alliance had warned retailers about small gangs of distraction thieves hitting jewelry stores and pawn shops across the country. Similar incidents have been reported in Ohio, Maryland, Texas, Louisiana and Florida.
If you can help identify the women, you are encouraged to call the JPSO Property Crimes Division at 504-364-5323.
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