Glendale police bust serial jewelry thief

Posted at 4:14 PM, Mar 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-03 18:14:58-05

A Phoenix man has been arrested in connection with five robberies of Glendale jewelry stores, stealing more than $65,000 worth of merchandise. Police say he may also be tied to additional robberies in Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa.

Court documents show that 25-year-old Raul Molina-Rubio was arrested on February 25 at his home, near 91st Avenue and McDowell Road, for robberies at five jewelry stores at Glendale's Tanger and Arrowhead Malls. 

Police say the crime spree began on October  30, 2015 with the robbery of Helzberg Jewelers at the Tanger Outlet Mall. Rubio was being helped by an employee when he ran out of the store with a $2,500 gold chain.

Police did a pawn search and found out he tried to pawn the chain the same day. The chain was located and identified by the store and the employee identified Rubio from a photo lineup.

The crime spree continued in 2016 as Rubio stole jewelry from Zales, Kay and Weisfield jewelry stores including a diamond ring valued at $13, 749.

Police say employee identification of Rubio along with fingerprints found on the store glass showcases linked Rubio to all these crimes.

Police say Rubio admitted to three of the thefts, saying he sold all the items. Court documents show that detectives in Phoenix, Mesa and Tempe are also expected to submit charges soon related to similar robberies in their cities.

So far Rubio has been charged with trafficking stolen property.