Accused burglar tries to pawn loot

In a case of extremely good or extremely bad timing, depending on your point-of-view, Historic City News crime patrol reporters learned that a Ponte Vedra Beach man walked into a pawn shop to unload his stolen jewelry just at the time detectives were there in search of it.

Earlier this afternoon, 25 year-old Alexander Ross McNeal entered Beaches Jewelry and Pawn in Jacksonville Beach with a handful of jewelry which he was attempting to sell.

Unfortunately, for him, St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office property crimes detectives Plaugher and Garns happened to be inside — and happened to have been there specifically looking for an estimated $100,000 in stolen jewelry from a residential burglary, which occurred in the Ponte Vedra area last Thursday.

Plaugher and Garns observed the jewelry and noticed it appeared to match several items taken in the burglary. They contacted the victims, who positively identified the items as belonging to them.

The detectives conducted an interview with McNeal at the pawn shop and he provided an account of how he came into possession of the items. He later changed the story, stating he found the jewelry while riding his bike.

A subsequent search of the McNeal’s vehicle revealed numerous other items that were taken from the victim’s home, as well as, tools commonly associated with burglary activity.

McNeal, who resides at 329 N Shipwreck Avenue in Ponte Vedra Beach, is being held in lieu of $127,500.00 bond and is facing charges of Burglary, Larceny of $50,000 or more, Grand Theft, Dealing in Stolen Property and Violation of Probation.

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