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Published November 22, 2013, 12:34 PM

Duluth woman charged with $800,000 jewelry theft

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — A Duluth woman began pawning jewelry from the store where she worked to make ends meet, but the thefts escalated until she had taken nearly $800,000 worth, according to police and court records.

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — A Duluth woman began pawning jewelry from the store where she worked to make ends meet, but the thefts escalated until she had taken nearly $800,000 worth, according to police and court records.

A Duluth Police Department investigator uncovered the thefts while checking pawn shop records in another burglary case, the Duluth News Tribune reported Friday. Ashley Marie Wiskow made 278 sales to pawn shops beginning in February 2011, the officer's report said.

Police interviewed Wiskow on Oct. 10. She was charged Nov. 15 with felony theft.

"The defendant stated she was not making enough money to pay the bills so she began to take items to live," the police report said. Wiskow went on to say that she got "greedy and kept stealing" from Security Jewelers.

Wiskow did not immediately respond to a message left by The Associated Press at a phone number listed in her name.

Wiskow received more than $60,000 for the jewelry, according to pawn shop records. That was only a fraction of the items' $796,883 retail value.

Most of the jewelry has not been recovered, police said.

Security Jewelers owner Jack Seiler said many of the items were likely considered scrap and melted down.

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