OAKWOOD, Ga -- "It was his walk." That's what witnesses noticed most about a man wanted in a jewelry heist at an antiques store in Oakwood. It happened on Sunday, March 9, 2014, but the suspect was in the store the day before eyeing the jewelry cases.
Employees of Aardvark Antiques on Mundy Mill Road in Oakwood remembered the suspect in the store and what they described may be the key to solving the burglary case.
"Well, the best description they have of him was the way he was walking," said Oakwood Police Investigator Danny Sridej.
"He kept his hands in his pockets, walking like a penguin," said store owner Charles Pharr.
"They described it like penguin walk," Det. Sridej said.
Pharr said as soon as his employees watched surveillance video of the suspect burglarizing his store, they remembered he was in the store the day before. "And they recognized him immediately, they said 'that's him!'" he said.
They also remember him spending nearly an hour in the store and his interest in the jewelry cases. What they didn't notice is when he walked to the back of the store and unlocked a roll up door. "The same suspect came back and got into the store from that roll up door," said Inv. Sridej.
And when he came back he was only interested in one thing, the jewelry cases he eyed the day before. "This one (had) primarily genuine antique heirloom pieces and estate pieces and this one (was filled) with sterling and vintage (jewelry)," Pharr said as he pointed out the cases.
More than $30,000 worth of antique jewelry, including rings, watches, necklaces, bracelets, and broaches were cleaned out of the two cases.
Police describe the suspect as short, about 5-feet, 6-inches tall, pudgy and in his early 50's. But it was the walk that stood out most. Walking like a penguin," Pharr said with a chuckle.
"I think anyone who sees that and knows him will be able to point him out pretty quickly," he added.
And if that's not enough Pharr is offering a $1,000 reward for the burglars identity and conviction.
If you recognize the suspect call the Oakwood Police Department at 770-534-2364.