Robinson detective on lunch break finds lead to McKees Rocks jewelry theft suspect
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A Robinson police detective's routine scan of pawn shop sales on his lunch break led to the arrest Monday of a McKees Rocks man accused of selling thousands in jewelry stolen from his neighbor and stealing tools from another man whose house was damaged by fire last month.
Michael King, 30, was arrested Monday and charged with burglary, receiving stolen property and related charges after police obtained a search warrant for his home where they recovered jewelry and other items, including insurance documents.
Robinson Detective Dan Dugan became suspicious last week when he noticed that Atlantic Gold Exchange in Robinson paid about $4,000 to Mr. King, McKees Rocks Chief Robert Cifrulak said.
The jewelry, sold on Wednesday, was worth about $20,000, Chief Cifrulak said.
According to a criminal compliant, Mr. King told police a friend gave him the jewelry, which he was pressured to turn in for cash even though "it felt fishy." He also told police, according to the complaint, he "needed the money."
After noticing the sale, Detective Dugan on Thursday called McKees Rocks police to see if they were investigating any burglaries.
McKees Rocks police focused on two in particular.
A McKees Rocks man reported a burglary at his home on Mary Street on Dec. 19. A fire damaged the home Dec. 8 and it had been boarded up.
And on the same day as Detective Dugan's call, a woman who lives near Mr. King reported her home had been burglarized.
On Monday, police obtained a search warrant for Mr. King's home, where they found tools and other items the man reported stolen last month, including a car battery charger and air compressor.
They also found jewelry, the life insurance paperwork bearing the name of Mr. King's neighbor, a wheeled floor heater and other items that had been reported as stolen.
Police also found 101 stamp bags of what they believe to be heroin, according to the complaint.
Mr. King also is charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver and intent to use drug paraphernalia.
Mr. King told police he did take items from the home on Mary Street, Chief Cifrulak said.
Police are investigating whether Mr. King has been involved in other burglaries in the area. Chief Cifrulak said he will likely face more charges.
McKees Rocks police do not have enough evidence yet to charge him with burglary of his neighbor's home. He was charged only with burglary of the home on Mary Street -- and receiving stolen property for both.
Mr. King faces a preliminary hearing on Jan 29.
First Published January 22, 2013 11:31 am