Arrest made in $100,000 Ocala jewelry heist



OCALA, Fla. - Marion County sheriff's detectives said they've made an arrest in one of the biggest jewel heists they've seen.

Shawn Garza, 38, is accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and rare coins from an Ocala home and then pawning or selling them all over town.

Detectives told Channel 9 Garza cased the home while installing a video security system. Detectives said that's when he may have realized there were lots of valuables in the house, so he went back to steal them.

"They found out some of those pieces of jewelry, up to $100,000 of jewelry, was sold at various pawn shops throughout the area," said Judge Cochran of the Marion County Sheriff's Office. "Working with those pawn shops, they narrowed down their suspect."

Authorities said Garza broke into the Ocala home on March 4 and helped himself to the high-end items.

Detectives said the security devices Garza already installed were also taken during the thefts, so there's no video of him in the home.

"So, that kind of narrowed down the folks who knew about it," said Cochran. "The couple that lived there and the guy that installed it."

But detectives said Garza admitted to them that he stole the goods.

Detectives are now checking to see if he has committed similar thefts.

"We want folks who may know about Mr. Garza's habits and whereabouts to call our detectives and say, 'Here's places you need to check. He's been here. He's been there,'" said Cochran.

The brokers and pawn shops have been ordered to hold the likely stolen property for 30 days.