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Cops: Foothills jewel heist spawned chain of thieves

Citizen Staff Writer



A man was jailed, suspected of stealing from a thief who stole from another thief who stole from the original thief in a $1 million foothills burglary, police said.

Clinton Leonard Shirley, 26, was being held last night on $5,500 bail, the jail said. He is charged with one count of trafficking in stolen property. Sheriff’s deputies arrested him Monday in the 1600 block of North Wilmot Road, said Deputy Dawn Barkman, a Pima County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman.

Shirley is suspected of stealing $4,000 worth of jewelry from another person, who stole it from a man who took it from a home in the foothills, Barkman said.

The man police say is the original thief, Andrew Bennett Soto, 23, is being held on charges of theft, burglary and trafficking in stolen property, according to the Pima County Jail. His bond is $1 million.

An 88-CRIME tip and surveillance footage from a store where Soto tried to sell a 5 1/2-carat diamond ring a few days after the Sept. 26 burglary led to Soto’s arrest, said sheriff’s deputy Lt. Mike Sacco.

The jewelry Shirley is suspected of stealing was taken from a person who stole it from Soto, police said. They said they do not have the name of the thief between Soto and Shirley.

Shirley stole the jewelry from the middle thief because that person owed him something, Barkman said. Authorities believe methamphetamine played a role, she said.

Shirley sold the jewelry for $387 at a local pawn shop, Barkman said. The jewelry included earrings and a necklace, she said.

Detectives were led to the pawn shop through leads. Shirley’s fingerprints were on the receipt he signed at the store, Barkman said.

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