Man arrested in connection with Visalia jewelry theft caught on camera

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Visalia Police have arrested the man they believe stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from the Chelsea Street Boutique.

It happened at around noon Wednesday when employees were in the back of the store.

Police say that they arrested 43-year-old Joe Cervantes for the crime.

The Chelsea Street Boutique shared surveillance video with Action News showing a man grabbing a case of women's rings from the front counter and walking out.

Michaela Ivans was still on her lunch break but heard her co-worker yelling at the man as he ran away.

"(She said,) 'Hey! Bring that back! You're on camera!'" Ivans said.

A woman outside saw the suspect get into a car.

She got the license plate number.

After looking at the video, Ivans knew right away who it was.
He first came to the store a few weeks ago with another man.

At one point, Ivans saw the friend slip something into his pocket-it was Ivans' phone.

"He hands it out to me, and he's like, 'So there are no problems? I'm going to give this back to you.' And I was like 'Yeah that's fine, there are no problems.'"

As the men left the store, Ivans says the alarm went off, so she knew they took something else.

A week later, the primary suspect came back, saying his friend stole a necklace and that they would return it.
That didn't happen, and when the primary suspect came back again two days ago, he was told to leave.

Ivans thinks the driver of the getaway car in Wednesday's theft was likely the man who stole her phone a few weeks ago.

"I hope if they have mental health issues or drug issues, that they get help," she said. "Life's hard, and it's not right for them to think that they can do this and try to get away with it."

Employees believe the main suspect also took the necklace a few weeks ago, despite saying his friend did it.

Visalia Police detectives are investigating the case.
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