Jewelry thief who 'walked like a penguin' arrested

OAKWOOD, Ga -- Investigators say they've arrested the thief who stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from an antiques store earlier this month.

David Mercer Stubbs was booked into the Gwinnett County jail Friday on an oustanding warant for theft by conversion.

"Someone saw Stubbs on television in the surveillance video and called us to identify him," said Oakwood Police Investigator Danny Sridej.

Sridej then learned Duluth police were also looking for him.

"We served a warrant on Stubbs' antique restoration business in Duluth and found stolen property including some of the jewelry taken from the Oakwood store.

It was the description of how the thief walked that detectives thought would be the key to cracking the case.

"It was his walk." That's what witnesses noticed most about a man wanted in a jewelry heist at an antiques store in Oakwood. It happened on Sunday, March 9, 2014, but the suspect was in the store the day before eyeing the jewelry cases.

Employees of Aardvark Antiques on Mundy Mill Road in Oakwood remembered the suspect in the store and what they described may be the key to solving the burglary case.

"Well, the best description they have of him was the way he was walking," said Oakwood Police Investigator Danny Sridej.

"He kept his hands in his pockets, walking like a penguin," said store owner Charles Pharr.

"They described it like penguin walk," Det. Sridej said.

Pharr said as soon as his employees watched surveillance video of the suspect burglarizing his store, they remembered he was in the store the day before. "And they recognized him immediately, they said 'that's him!'" he said.

They also remember him spending nearly an hour in the store and his interest in the jewelry cases. What they didn't notice is when he walked to the back of the store and unlocked a roll up door. "The same suspect came back and got into the store from that roll up door," said Inv. Sridej

And when he came back he was only interested in one thing, the jewelry cases he eyed the day before. "This one (had) primarily genuine antique heirloom pieces and estate pieces and this one (was filled) with sterling and vintage (jewelry)," Pharr said as he pointed out the cases.

Investigator Sridej said the moment he saw Stubbs' driver's license photo he knew he had his suspect.

Stubbs is accused fo stealing more than than $30,000 worth of antique jewelry, including rings, watches, necklaces, bracelets, and broaches.

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