Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jewelry theft suspect arrested after leaving traffic court

NEW PORT RICHEY — Chad Keck was leaving the courthouse Thursday after a traffic court hearing when he ran into trouble. It was a sheriff's detective waiting with handcuffs and an arrest warrant.

It took authorities a while to piece together their case against Keck, 20, of Safety Harbor for the jewelry theft at a Piercing Pagoda booth at Gulf View Square mall in March. Once they had all their evidence, they waited for him to come to them.

Deputies occasionally arrest people when they come to the courthouse for other scheduled business, sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin said. It saves them time in tracking down the suspect, he said, and it averts a potentially hostile showdown at the suspect's house.

"That's probably one of the best things you can get, when a person comes in and is in court," Tobin said.

A witness back in March saw Keck take off with a tray of gold chain necklaces valued at more than $17,000, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report.

A store employee had noticed Keck walking around the booth with another person. While helping two other customers, the employee placed the tray of jewelry next to the cash register to open a display case. When she looked up, all four people and the tray of necklaces were gone.

The owner of a nearby jewelry booth, Jewells Time, saw Keck walking with the necklaces, the report said. Keck waved at him — a gesture caught on that booth's surveillance video — and then left the mall. The owner followed Keck, who drove away in a white pickup.

Investigators later traced the license plate number to Keck, who told them he had driven the car to the mall but was not involved in the robbery. He was not charged at the time.

In May, Keck was arrested for failing to appear in court on a charge of allowing an unauthorized person to drive his car. He was back in court on Thursday.

By then, investigators had viewed the surveillance video at Jewells Time, and that store's owner picked Keck's photo out of a group of pictures. The Sheriff's Office secured a warrant for his arrest. He was charged with grand theft and violating the Florida pawnbroker act.

Keck was released Friday from the Land O'Lakes jail on $10,000 bail. No one else is suspected to have been involved in the robbery, Tobin said.

Nomaan Merchant can be reached at nmerchant@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6244.

Jewelry theft suspect arrested after leaving traffic court 07/18/08 [Last modified: Sunday, July 20, 2008 10:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida inspired new group focused on improving how elections are run

    Blogs

    A new group run by two lawyers and veteran Democratic operatives specializing in voter protection efforts is launching a pilot program in Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to work with local elections officials to improve the voting process. Access Democracy, run by …

    Access Democracy wants to improve voter participation and how elections are run
  2. Super Nintendo is coming back to stores, and there's even a new (old) game

    Blogs

    If the overwhelming success of last year's NES Classic is any indication, you may want to get your hands on Nintendo's newly-announced Super NES Classic as soon as it becomes available this fall.

    Super Nintendo plans to release the Super NES Classic Edition.
  3. Dave Andreychuk going into Hall of Fame

    Blogs

    For Dave Andreychuk, the wait is finally over.

    Dave Andreychuk helped lead the Lightning to its only Stanley Cup in 2004.
  4. Rays appear close to landing Marlins shortstop Hechavarria

    Blogs

    Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.

    Adeiny Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.
  5. What to watch this week: Catch these titles before they leave Netflix in July

    Blogs

    It's been less than a week since summer officially started, and I don't know about you, but I'm more than ready for cooler weather to get here. It's too hot outside to function (looking at you, 116 degree Arizona), but Netflix has us covered with a boatload of new TV shows and movies coming in July. Unfortunately, that …

    Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight in 1989's Batman.