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Handyman helped himself to more than $2,000 in jewelry from bedroom, police say

By Len Righi, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: Apr 05 2013 03:11:55 PM CDT
PALMER TWP., Pa. -

A handyman stole more than $2,000 in jewelry last month from the bedroom of the woman who hired him, officials said.

Justin C. Roth took the jewelry from a home in the 2900 block of Agnes Street, Palmer Twp., Northampton Co., on March 14 or 15, officials said.

The victim called police on March 17 to report items missing from her jewelry box, including a $300 rope gold necklace with a heart; a $300 gold necklace with a diamond heart; a $100 gold necklace with a #1 Mom charm; a gold necklace with a #1 Teacher charm, and $600 worth of charms in a plastic bag, officials said.

She told police she recently had hired Roth as a handyman in late December or early January to do some work on the roof and gutters, after seeing his ad in Treasure Hunt, officials said.

She also told police she asked Roth to trim shrubs in the back yard, and that Roth was informed where he could find a key to the home so he could have access to an electrical outlet in the basement, officials said.

On March 14, the victim's daughter found Roth outside the home when she returned home from school at 2:50 p.m., and Roth told her he had been there for only 15 minutes, even though all but two bushes had been trimmed, officials said.

Police found the the woman's necklace with the diamond heart at Saks Jewelers, 1939 Northampton St., Wilson, Northampton Co., on March 20, five days after Roth sold it for $90, officials said.

The same day, seven pieces of her gold jewelry were recovered from the Easton Exchange, 58 Centre Square, Easton, officials said, adding that Roth was paid $400 for them and a 1987 Shawnee School class ring on March 14.

Police were unable to recover another $1,200 worth of jewelry the victim said was stolen from her, including a $500 diamond-circled gold wedding band; a $500 1961 Somerville High School class ring with an onyx stone; a $150 gold pendant with a pearl, and a $100 Santa Claus charm, officials said.

Roth, 27, of 1800 Washington Blvd., Wilson, was arraigned Thursday night on charges of burglary, criminal trespass, theft and two counts of receiving stolen property and committed to the Northampton County Prison on $30,000 bail, according to court documents.

A preliminary hearing is set for 9 a.m. April 16.