More than $40,000 worth of rings, necklaces and pendants were reported stolen from Florida Jewelers recently, and Sheriff's Office authorities have arrested a friend of the store's owner in the theft.
Douglas Wayne Guntor, 34, of 2675 E Dawson Ave., was charged with grand theft on Saturday.
According to a Citrus County Sheriff's Office report, the jewelry store's owner, Michael Piccione, recently noticed two valuable pieces of jewelry were missing from the safe at the store on State Road 44.
Piccione told deputies he was going to contact everyone who had access to the safe. That apparently included Guntor, a friend of Piccione.
Guntor came to the store, admitted to Piccione he had stolen the two pieces of jewelry, according to the report, and returned them.
Then Piccione received several calls from mutual acquaintances, who said Guntor had given them jewelry that was apparently from his store, the report said. They said they wanted to return the jewelry to the store.
On Saturday about 1 p.m., a sheriff's deputy questioned Guntor at his Inverness home.
After being read his rights, Guntor admitted stealing jewelry from the store, reports said.
Deputies recovered 126 rings and several bracelets from Guntor's residence. The pieces were photographed and returned to the victim.
Guntor, who works on the night-stocking crew at the Inverness Wal-Mart, was booked into the Citrus County Detention Facility on Saturday.
He was released later that day on $5,000 bail.