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Police Trace Stolen Jewelry

July 25, 2002

A month after a Clifton home was burglarized, the homeowner found some of her stolen jewelry for sale in a Vienna pawn shop. The burglar is still at large, but the homeowner's discovery led to the arrest of the man who has been charged with buying the jewelry from the thief.

Charged July 1 with receiving stolen goods was Rasheed Yusuf Ali, 30, of Purple Sage Drive in Reston. If convicted, he could receive as much as five years in prison.

In an affidavit in support of a search warrant to seek possible criminal evidence in Ali's home and car, Fairfax County Police Det. Nancy Reynolds presented details of the case. It began May 26, when a family in the 12300 block of Henderson Road in Clifton called police to report a burglary.

"Entry was gained through a rear door which had been kicked in," wrote the detective. "A gun and several pieces of jewelry valued in excess of $50,000 were taken from the master bedroom closet ... located on the second level of the residence."

Among the items taken were a diamond and white-gold tennis bracelet valued at $17,500 and a pair of diamond stud earrings worth $13,208. The gun was a 1911 Colt 45.

Police provided the woman of the house with a list of local pawn shops, and she then set out to visit them in search of her missing jewelry.

On June 24, she called Reynolds and said she'd found several of her pilfered pieces at Tysons Art and Jewelry Exchange at 8150 Leesburg Pike in Vienna.

The next day, she and her husband met with Reynolds and Det. James Berg at the store. The homeowners identified 10 pieces of jewelry as belonging to them. Then, from the store manager, Reynolds obtained information about the person who sold the jewelry to the store. According to Reynolds, the manager identified Ali as the seller.

"The store employees recognized Mr. Ali as being a regular customer since February 2002," wrote the detective. "[They] further advised that he has been known to bring in large quantities of fine jewelry."

Police asked store employees to notify them if he returned to the store and, last Monday, July 1, he did. The store called and said that Ali was trying to sell a loose diamond. Police responded, identified Ali and took him into custody. At the Fair Oaks District Station, they questioned him about the jewelry .

"Mr. Ali advised that he did, indeed, sell the items in question," wrote Reynolds. "[He] further advised that he knew the items were stolen. Mr. Ali said he often buys stolen property and sells it for profit."

Police charged him with receiving stolen property and took him to the Adult Detention Center. He was released July 2 on $5,000 bond and has an Aug. 27 court date.

Meanwhile, police — and the victims — are still hoping the rest of the items will show up. Among the jewelry reported missing were pearl, diamond, sapphire, ruby, onyx and emerald rings. For example, one ring had six blue sapphires and six diamonds, and another featured 12 rubies and 13 diamonds. The earrings included ones made of topaz, diamonds, pearls, tanzanite and rubies.

The stolen bracelets were of sapphires, diamonds, pearls, onyx, garnet and jade. The necklaces were pearl, diamond and gold. Also taken were several precious stones — a ruby, diamond, emerald and sapphire. The thief swiped a Canon camera with portrait lens, as well.

Looking for any of these items, police executed search warrants, July 3, at Ali's home and car. From his 1993 Toyota Camry they seized Fossil and Technomarine watches, a gold wire bracelet, pepper spray, a marble-faced statue and a carved gold vase. From his Reston townhouse they seized 97 miscellaneous coins.