A 22-year-old Eden Prairie man has been charged with the theft of more than $48,000 worth of jewelry from a husband and wife, both residents of Flagstone Terrace Housing in Eden Prairie.
Walker Oliver Johnson is accused of stealing the jewelry during his twice-per-week visits to the couple’s residence. Johnson was employed by a private home health agency contracted by the residents for home care services.
According to the complaint:
The female resident reported the thefts to a staff member, who encouraged her to call the police. The resident identified Johnson as the aide who came to their residence twice a week to care for her husband. The coordinator of the agency’s home health aide program confronted Johnson, who initially denied the thefts, but then admitted to stealing jewelry from the couple’s residence.
Eden Prairie police were called on May 3. Johnson told them that he stole approximately 20 items and then changed that to 10. He told police he took items and then often returned them a few days later because he felt bad. Johnson said he pawned the items at Pawn America in Bloomington and received about $4,000. He said he used the money to purchase oxycodone.
Officers checked store records at the Bloomington Pawn America and discovered that Johnson had conducted 18 transactions at the store between March 13 and May 4.
Police were able to complete hold forms for the jewelry Johnson pawned. Hold forms require the pawnshop to retain items identified as potentially stolen. Police seized 14 pieces of jewelry, including three rings, four bracelets, five necklaces, and two pairs of earrings. Seventeen additional items were not recoverable.
The wife identified and provided proof of ownership for 14 pieces of jewelry, which were then returned to her. Additionally, two rings, a pair of earrings, and a necklace identified by the victim were also returned with proof of ownership.
Among the approximately two dozen pieces of jewelry reported stolen were a gold ring containing six diamonds worth $10,000; three Tremonti bracelets worth a total of $10,000; and a gold kite diamond omega necklace worth $8,000.
The victim told police that of the $48,100 worth of jewelry stolen, more than $21,160 worth of jewelry was still missing.
Johnson has been summoned to appear in Hennepin County District Court. If convicted of the felony count, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.
Clarification: This story has been updated to emphasize that while the alleged theft occurred at a residence in Flagstone, the accused individual was employed by an outside home health agency, unaffiliated with the facility.
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