UPS Blamed for Collapse of Jewelry Theft Case
Posted June 14, 2007 1:36 p.m. EDT
Updated June 14, 2007 8:29 p.m. EDT
Rocky Mount, N.C. — Charges have been dropped against four UPS workers accused of stealing jewels from inbound packages at a center in Rocky Mount, and police blame the company for the investigation's collapse.
The Nash County District Attorney's Office dropped larceny and conspiracy charges against Jermaine Mack, Kelly Cherry, Christopher Ingram and Winifred Sweeney.
Police accused the four, who were employees in the UPS sorting department, of stealing more than $200,000 in jewels from 13 packages addressed to Bailey's and to Wade Designs in Rocky Mount.
The incidents date to November 2005, police said. The jewels have never been recovered.
UPS conducted its own internal investigation for months before contacting law enforcement, and police said that delay hurt the case and left officers chasing weak, mostly circumstantial evidence.
"We came to the conclusion that it would probably be in the best interest of justice to dismiss those charges," said Capt. Martin McCoy of the Rocky Mount Police Department. "It's extremely frustrating because it is, in fact, a criminal investigation."
An assistant district attorney said the charges were dismissed pending further investigation. McCoy said, however, "At this point, I don't believe anyone will be charged."
A spokeswoman for UPS declined to comment on the case, saying the company considers it an ongoing investigation.
Store owners said the end of the case sends the wrong message to potential thieves.
"We're just in disbelief over it because, how could they possibly not have continued the investigation further?" said Clyde Bailey Jr., the owner of Bailey's. "We all have heard that crime doesn't pay, but obviously, in Rocky Mount, crime does pay."