PORT RICHEY — After dark on Nov. 2, someone broke into Custom Jewelry Creations and helped himself to $70,000 worth of glitzy goods.
Demetre Sakelson was arrested Tuesday in the jewelry heist for two reasons:
Security cameras caught the break-in on tape. And the store owner recognized the burglar because Sakelson worked at Custom Jewelry Creations for "several years," until his recent dismissal, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report.
Sakelson, 46, eluded authorities for about a week, but turned himself in Tuesday afternoon to face charges of burglary and grand theft.
The video footage shows a burglar forcing open the double doors of the jewelry showroom at 9239 U.S. 19, in front of Gulf View Square mall. He removed numerous men's and women's diamond wedding bands from a display case, then took loose diamonds from a separate display and fled the store.
The store owner and Sakelson's ex-fiancee viewed the footage and identified him as the suspect, the Sheriff's Office said.
The owner told deputies he had known Sakelson since he was 19 years old. He recently fired Sakelson and didn't give him permission to go into the store after hours.
Sakelson, of 2238 Lark Circle West, Apt. 2D, in Palm Harbor, turned himself in on Tuesday. He remained at the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $15,000 bail.
Camille C. Spencer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6236.