Local pest control worker behind bars for stealing thousands from customer's safe

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Updated: 11/22/2013 11:37 pm
CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- More than $100,000 in jewelry is stolen by someone you'd least expect. 49-year-old Ronnie Lee Stevens Jr. is a wood inspector at Pest Xpress in Orange Park. Police tell Action News it's a family business his father has owned for decades.

According to a search warrant we obtained, Stevens broke into his own customer's safe and took everything inside on Halloween night. That included a $35,000 Rolex, a $10,000 Rolex, a .22-caliber revolver and $1,000 in cash. Police say they believe it wasn't the first time Stevens hit homes he was supposed to be working on.

"It was determined that there were other burglaries linked to this, probably in Clay and Duval County," said Detective James Acres with Green Cove Springs Police Department.

The victim's relentless search for her valuables paid off.

"She came here and found some of her jewelry and that's what led us to the suspect and a subsequent investigation," said Acres.

Only Action News cameras were rolling Friday when investigators surrounded Kingsley Jewelry in Orange Park. Police believe the suspect made a second-hand deal with the owner, 52-year-old Michael Wild, who was also arrested because he failed to follow protocol.

"There were no records kept as to the transaction that had occurred," said Acres.

The investigation is far from over. More victims are expected to come forward.

The victim was able to retrieve some of her stolen jewelry but the rest of it could now be in someone else's jewelry box. Stevens is charged with armed burglary and grand theft. 

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