Man steals mothers jewelry to pay drug debt

A 34 year-old St Augustine man is in custody in lieu of $123,500 bail today after he admitted to law enforcement deputies that he stole thousands of dollars’ worth of his mother’s jewelry and sold it for cash to settle an overdue debt to his drug dealer.

Timothy J. Matthews, who resides in Saint Augustine with his 63 year-old mother, became a suspect quickly when the victim reported that she discovered several pieces of jewelry missing from her bedroom. When the victim reported what she believed to be a burglary, investigators could find no sign of forced entry and became suspicious.

According to the incident report, on Monday, December 5th, the victim noticed a half-carat diamond, valued at $13,000, mounted in a silver ring that she frequently wears, had gone missing.

From her recollection at the time of the report, the most expensive piece of jewelry missing was a diamond and opal broach valued at $15,000.

The victim told Deputy Michael Stevens that she did not understand the theft because there was other jewelry in the room that was left untouched. According to the witness statement, some of the jewelry was real and some of it was costume jewelry.

During the investigation, a quick check of pawnshop records revealed that Matthews had completed 24 transactions where he sold jewelry to Cash for Treasures dating back to October 24th — with the last transaction being December 9th.

The victim reviewed the jewelry sales transaction with Deputy Stevens and began positively identifying certain listed items such as a silver coin, a broach, and a pendant.

Matthews signed a notice of his Miranda rights and agreed to be interviewed — at first denying then later admitting to the theft of his mother’s jewelry, after he was confronted with records from Cash for Treasures, located at 2792 US-1 South.

Matthews was arrested and transported to the St Johns County Detention Facility without incident.

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