Gallia man indicted in jewelry heist

By Dean Wright -

Josh Queen

Josh Queen

GALLIPOLIS — A Gallipolis man has been arrested and will be facing court proceedings for his alleged involvement in a jewelry theft in Gallipolis on Sept. 2 at Acquisitions Fine Jewelry on Second Avenue.

Josh Queen, 33, was arrested Sept. 10 by the Gallipolis City Police Department and then placed in the Gallia County Jail for alleged attempted burglary and theft. Queens was indicted by the Gallia County Grand Jury in mid-November.

According to Gallia County court documents, Queen was charged with one count of attempted burglary, a fourth-degree felony, one count of theft and/or theft of a motor vehicle, a third-degree felony, and an actual burglary charge, a felony of the third degree.

According to the proprietor of Acquisitions Jewelry store, the break-in occurred around 2 a.m. that September morning. Business surveillance cameras spotted individuals breaking through the side window of the business’ main entrance. Two individuals walked toward a diamond case with stockings over their faces and wore heavy clothing. Allegedly, suspects pushed the remains of the glass in by foot to clear the way for entry.

The suspects allegedly broke a glass display containing earrings and cleared the area within 50 seconds.

“In a small town, you don’t assume you’re going to have a problem, ” owner Tom Tope told the Gallipolis Daily Tribune earlier in the year. “You go to Detroit or Columbus and they’ve got those big gates they roll down in front of their (business) windows. It’s just one of those things you don’ think you’ll ever have a problem with.”

Gallipolis police responded within 1½ minutes when he business’ security alarmed sparked.

Tope and his associates handed surveillance video to law enforcement. He had said that it was not uncommon for the security system to suffer a random false alarm from time to time. To his knowledge, most jewelry thefts occurred during daylight hours.

Tope originally offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the suspects. He also believed the suspects had studied the business as he felt they knew there were cameras eyeing the scene.

“Stuff was strewn all the way to the door. I worked from two to five in the morning cleaning up glass. If you’ve ever been to something like this before, like a car wreck or whatever, it’s a bit bewildering,” Tope said.

According to GPD officials, the second suspect is still at large as police search for the individual.

Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.

Josh Queen Queen

By Dean Wright