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Worker stole jewelry from home to support drug habit, police say

By Len Righi, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: Nov 18 2013 07:19:36 PM CST
BETHLEHEM TWP., Pa. -

A home repair worker with a heroin habit stole jewelry worth thousands of dollars from a customer's bedroom, officials said.

Matthew C. Wirick took a 1-karat diamond pendant on a 14-karat gold chain and a diamond loop tennis bracelet belonging to Heather Busch while he was helping to remodel the kitchen of her home in the 3600 block of Hecktown Road in Bethlehem Township, Northampton Co., officials said.

Wirick was part of a three-man crew doing the remodeling work from Oct. 22 to Nov. 8, and Busch had allowed them to use the bathroom in the master bedroom, officials said.

Busch reported the theft of the $5,000 pendant and $2,000 bracelet from a jewelry box atop a dresser in her bedroom last Thursday, three days after discovering the items were missing, officials noted.

Busch told police Wirick apologized to her for stealing the jewelry, and Wirick later admitted to law enforcement authorities he sold the pendant and bracelet to a cash-for-gold store in Allentown for $700 to support his heroin habit, officials said.

Wirick, 24, of 3903 Ferncroft Lane, Bethlehem Township, was arraigned Saturday night on charges of theft and receiving stolen property and committed to the Northampton County Prison on $7,500 bail, according to court documents.

A preliminary hearing is set for 9 a.m. Dec. 2.