Two Fountain Hills men who gained access to homes through a carpet cleaning company they worked for are being held in a Maricopa County jail, suspected of stealing more than $30,000 worth of jewelry to sell as scrap.
Mesa police detective Michael Morgan told the Tribune Thursday that he began noticing a trend at pawn shops throughout the city of increased amounts of jewelry turning up, and that led him to arrest Justin Bauman and Keith Baldwin on suspicion of theft and trafficking stolen property.
Police say that Bauman and Baldwin said they stole items from at least six victims throughout Fountain Hills, Scottsdale and Phoenix and Morgan said there also was some other jewelry recovered after the two men sold to a pawn shop.
“When we see a trend of something, that often sends up a red flag,” Morgan said. “It’s a lot of jewelry.”
Morgan would not say which carpet cleaning company Bauman and Baldwin worked for, but believed there could be more victims.
In 1996, Baldwin was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for third-degree burglary, according to Arizona Department of Corrections records.
It is not known at this time what kind of background checks were conducted, if any, on Bauman and Baldwin before they were employed by the carpet cleaning business.
If anyone believes they may have been victims or police are instructing them to call (480) 644-3491.
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