Owner: Most valuable items not likely to be recovered from Paxton break-in
PAXTON — Richard Hewerdine credits Paxton police with doing "everything they could" to recover some of the estimated $175,000 in jewelry and coins stolen from his downtown store over the past four months.
And he accepts that there is probably not much else that can be done to recover the rest.
"All the gold, diamonds — everything that's worth a darn — is gone," Hewerdine said Monday, noting that none of the stolen items was insured. "All that's (recovered) is the silver, which is maybe 2 percent of the value" of what was stolen.
Three Danville men were charged last week in connection with two recent burglaries at Hewerdine's Coin & Jewelry, operated out of the second floor of the Paxton Post Office, 209 S. Market St.
The burglaries, which occurred Sept. 26 and Jan. 21, were the first in the store's 22-year existence and involved the theft of a total of $150,000 to $175,000 in jewelry and coins, Hewerdine said.
"Everything that was out, they took — everything that wasn't in the vault," Hewerdine said.
Paxton Police Chief Bob Bane said "good police work" led to last week's arrest of Ryan M. Banks, 28, Brandon M. Enos, 27, and Ryan P. McLaughlin, 26, all of Danville.
All three men had been customers of the 77-year-old Hewerdine and had visited his store several times, Bane said.
Each is charged in Ford County Circuit Court with one count of burglary, a Class 2 felony, in connection with the Jan. 21 crime. Enos is charged additionally with one count of possession of stolen property ($500 to $10,000), a Class 3 felony.
All three have posted $5,000 cash — 10 percent of their $50,000 bonds — to be released from the Ford County Jail.
Banks and McLaughlin are due in court for a bond hearing March 6, while Enos is due in court for a preliminary hearing March 11.
Following the second burglary, Bane said, police "developed information" that led to Enos' suspected involvement in both burglaries.
Using a computerized system shared by law-enforcement agencies nationwide, Paxton police learned that Enos had gone to Las Vegas the week prior to his arrest and, while there, sold six items of jewelry to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, which is featured on the History Channel show "Pawn Stars," Bane said.
Police also learned that Enos sold jewelry to a pawn shop in Flagstaff, Ariz., Bane said.
Bane said police later determined that Enos had also sold jewelry to the BP gas station at the intersection of Fairchild and Vermilion streets in Danville.
Police said some of the items sold at all three locations were positively identified as Hewerdine's.
On Feb. 5, Paxton police executed a search warrant, with the assistance of Danville police, at Enos' home in the 1600 block of Oak Street in Danville, where they recovered jewelry and coins believed to be stolen from Hewerdine's store.
Enos later arrived at his home, and police found he had several items of jewelry with him, according to a criminal complaint filed in Ford County Circuit Court.
Enos then admitted to the Jan. 21 burglary, the complaint said.
The following day, Bane said, the Vermilion County Sheriff's Department and Danville police arrested Banks, who listed an address in the 1600 block of North Walnut Street, and McLaughlin, who listed an address in the 700 block of Perrysville Road, on Ford County warrants.
Bane said police recovered a "large amount" of stolen property "connecting both burglaries to these three men."