Police Encounter More Than Expected in Unusual Raid

Home raided in illegal gold investigation

By Pat Collins
|  Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011  |  Updated 9:04 PM EDT
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Police in Prince George's County, Md., appear to have struck gold after busting a stolen jewelry ring with ties to New York.

Pat Collins

Police in Prince George's County, Md., appear to have struck gold after busting a stolen jewelry ring with ties to New York.

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Prince George’s County police raiding a Riverdale, Md., home in an illegal gold investigation first found some unexpected surprises.

Before entering the home, they had to corral two roosters in the backyard.

Once the birds were in custody, they entered the house and found it was like a 7-Eleven -- real grocery store shelves holding real grocery store items.

Beyond the store, police struck gold. It looked like a jewelry store complete with bracelets, rings, necklaces and pendants.

“We were actually able to go in and do a sting operation and determine that they were taking in stolen jewelry,” Prince George's County police Sgt. Laurie Hall said.

A ring ran an unlicensed jewelry stand in a Riverdale grocery store, police said. The ring would buy stolen jewelry, reconfigure it and sell in New York for a big profit.

“They’re making a lot of money on it,” Hall said. “The price of gold is extremely high. In our county alone we have a lot of break-ins and thefts that involve gold jewelry.”

Police are comparing seized jewelry to items stolen in recent burglaries to see if they can close some of those cases.

Only those roosters are in custody, but arrests in the gold scheme are forthcoming, police said.

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