Saturday, July 13

After Allegedly Stealing and Pawning Jewelry, Rochester Woman Finds Herself in the Slammer

A Rochester woman faces charges after being arrested earlier in May for the alleged theft and sale of stolen jewelry. Shaumyk Santiago, 21, is accused of breaking into a home in Wolcott, NY in January and stealing many of the owner’s valuable pieces of jewelry. After Ms. Santiago sold the items to the Jewelry and Coin Exchange, a pawn shop for valuable items, on West Ridge Road in Greece, she found herself in cuffs. Santiago awaits further proceedings on the matter, but for now, she has been sent to the Wayne County Jail on $10,000 bail.

Theft in Rochester is Nothing New
Theft in Rochester isn’t exactly a novel concept. According to the most recently available statistics, the Flower City plays host to 7,683 thefts per 100,000 people every year, or over 15,000 annually. Among those crimes, jewelry is undoubtedly one of the most commonly stolen items.

Of course, even beyond Rochester, jewelry is a hot item for making some quick money. Three people in Austin, Texas were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly driving through an antique store’s window, using their vehicle like a mechanized battering ram. The trio hopped out of their car, stole hand-fulls of jewelry, and fled before police could arrive. Luckily, surveillance footage caught them in the act.

So, Why Jewelry?
Jewelry is frequently the target of criminals because it is light, easy to transport, and commands huge prices at pawn shops and elsewhere. At current market values, a single ounce of gold can fetch $1,255, with the same amount of platinum ringing in at $1,462. Especially in Rochester, where the poverty rate is north of 30%, the ability to score that quick cash can be the difference between going hungry and feeding a family.

Of course, not everyone who steals jewelry is in so tight a fix. Many people steal because they simply want what they can’t have. Platinum is a particularly popular target, not only because of its value, but because of its beauty and the fact that its molecular purity renders it hypoallergenic. These vanity cases , unfortunately or otherwise, certainly don’t nearly account for Rochester’s continuing problem with crime.

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