Saturday, June 15

The Jewel Thief That Almost Cost JC Penney a Pretty Penny

They say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. But what about $160,000 worth of stolen jewelry?

On July 13th, Marie Anne Khanh Hodang, a JC Penney employee, was caught with $160,382 worth of jewelry from the store located in Jackson, Florida.

Hodang stole the jewelry from the Avenue Mall department store over the period of a month, strategically paying for some items in-between with her employee discount.

According to First Coast News, Jackson County Police Department was contacted after the store’s loss prevention officer calculated that over $100,000 worth of merchandise had gone missing over the past month. Upon this realization, the store manager was alerted and kept an eyeful watch on his employees.

The manager checked the security camera tapes and saw Hodang leaving the JC Penney with $15,000 worth of jewelry in tow. The mall security then detained her, and the police were called to make an arrest.

Even though 68% of shoppers prefer to see price tags on luxury jewelry items, stores prefer to hide them in order to prevent the display from becoming cluttered. Maybe Hodang got confused, and thought that these price tag-less items were for free?

Yet instead of pleading the fifth, Hodang confessed immediately, telling authorities that the jewelry was at her home. Upon further investigation, police also found thousands of dollars in jewelry and cash in both her JC Penney employee locker, and her car.

But the search didn’t end there.

In their searches, the police also found a few security deposit keys. Upon further investigation, they discovered that the bank’s security boxes held thousands of dollars in cash, which were presumably profits incurred from the stolen jewelry.

In total, the investigators found $30,000 in cash and over $100,000 worth of jewelry in Hodang’s home. The recovered jewelry was returned to JC Pennery.

Hodang was put in jail, charged with grand theft-retail of over $100,000.

She has since posted the $50,000 bond and is awaiting trial.

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