It began as a normal late-November day at Southern Gold on Brainerd Road. Surveillance video shows a woman entering the store. "She's a black female," explained Chattanooga Police Sgt. Craig Joel, "5'6", 5'8", average build, maybe around 150 to 160 pounds, or so; appears to be in her mid-20's."
The woman spread some jewelry out on the counter to be appraised, perhaps to sell, and that is when the extraordinary happened. "The actual employee doing the inspection realized this was her own gold," Sgt. Joel said. "Of all the pawn shops, of all the gold shops in this county, city, tri-city area, the odds are kind of astronomical that this happened."
Later, police would find the door kicked open at the employee's residence and several thousand dollars worth of jewelry and electronics missing.
When she recognized the pieces as her own, some of them custom-made, she tried to call to get police officers to the store. "The suspect made excuses to step outside and fled the scene," said Joel. "They weren't able to locate her."
That leaves you with an opportunity to aid the investigation and earn some reward cash. Have a good look at our suspect. The surveillance video and pictures are admittedly not of the best quality, but there are other clues. "We're hoping that someone will recognize her based on her purse, her appearance, her demeanor," Sgt. Joel added. "We think that there's someone out there that will recognize her and if they do, that recognition could lead to a reward."
There is a chance this freak occurrence scared this thief straight. Coming face-to-face with the victim like that may have made her swear-off a life of larceny, but we don't know that for sure. Let us not take a chance, help stop her before she strikes someone else's house.
There is up to $1,000 waiting for the right bit of information. Call Crime Stoppers: 698-3333
Remember, a police officer may answer the phone or return your call, but he will never ask your identity.