Smithville, Tennessee businessman charged with felony theft

June 27, 2010
Mark Violet

A well-known Smithville jeweler was arrested Friday, after a joint investigation by the Smithville Police Department and the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department into a trio of recent burglaries, involving almost $10,000 in stolen jewelry. Arrested was Mark Violet, operator of K&M Jewelry on West Broad Street, who was charged with two counts of felony theft as a result of the investigation.

The case began with the report of a burglary at a residence on White Oak Drive in Smithville, on Friday, June 18th, in which the victims reported some $2,500 in jewelry to be missing. Patrolman Matt Farmer responded to the scene and took the report from the victims. Later the same day, Patrolman Farmer was dispatched to the residence next door to the previous one on White Oak Drive, in which the homeowners stated they had been robbed of some $3,700 in jewelry, plus other miscellaneous items.

On Tuesday, June 22nd, Patrolman Scott Davis was dispatched to a residence on Ed Taft Drive, where the homeowner reported some $3,500 in jewelry, as well as additional items of value, had been taken from their home.

The case was assigned to Detective Matt Holmes of the Smithville Police Department. Holmes later contacted Detective Mike Billings and Detective Shane Martin of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, and an investigation was conducted into the burglaries, which were all similar in nature. Their investigation led them to a suspicious person who had been seen in the area of the burglaries in the days leading up to and following the break-ins. The investigation further led authorities to Violet, who when initially questioned by police, denied having any knowledge of the stolen jewelry.

Later, further questioning of the jeweler led to his alleged confession of having bought the jewelry from a person named Travis Hill, who had allegedly been the person who entered the residences and took the jewelry and other items. Hill then met Violet at an unspecified location, where the jeweler allegedly paid Hill for the stolen goods. Violet also admitted to police that he had melted and sold some of the jewelry, and was no longer in possession of it.

A search of the premises at K&M Jewelry led to the recovery of a DVD player that was actually at Violet's home and had been stolen from Wal-Mart. Upon questioning Hill, he led authorities to the location where he had disposed of much of the stolen merchandise, which was recovered and later identified by the victims.

Violet’s bond for the two counts of felony theft was set at $10,000, and he will appear in General Sessions Court on the charges, July 15th. Hill, meanwhile, was charged with three counts of aggravated burglary, three counts of felony theft and possession of a schedule II drug. He is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court, August 5th. Additional charges could be pending in the case.

Those working on the joint investigation into the burglaries were Chief Randy Caplinger, Detective Matt Holmes, Sergeant Randy King and Patrolman David Phillips of the Smithville Police Department, along with Sheriff Patrick Ray, Detective Mike Billings and Detective Shane Martin of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.

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