ODESSA - A savvy jewel thief ripped off an Odessa store and police say it's not his first time. The man, reportedly from out of town, made off with thousands. But Monday, the suspected crook, was caught in Lubbock.
24-year-old Camrin Eckert had missed his fiance's birthday, and so he came to Cone Jewelers in Odessa, looking for something to make up for it, or at least that's the story employees say Eckert came up with right before robbing them.
According to workers, when he came into the store there was nothing abnormal about it. Eckert was just circling kiosks throughout the store, browsing different items, asking for their prices, until he came to the one closest to the entrance and settled on the high-dollar tennis bracelets.
In the surveillance video, you can see him hanging around the area, with an employee, then alone, and then with a different employee, just scoping the area out until he finds a $6,000 bracelet that catches his eye to help him "win over" his perhaps fake bride-to-be. The young employee then let him try it on.
"He then looked at it, he then said, 'Thank you,' and fled the store in an unknown direction," Steve LeSueur, Public Information Officer for the Odessa Police Department, said.
Employees tell NewsWest 9 that Eckert didn't appear armed but they didn't exactly chase after him. Instead they called the Odessa Police Department and let them take over.
"The white male did leave a palm print. As a result, officers were able to obtain a hit," LeSueur said.
In fact, workers said they had just cleaned the imprint from the front door Tuesday. As a result, a warrant was obtained for Eckert's arrest for theft, a state jail felony.
Officials said there have been a few burglaries in the Odessa area but it's unknown whether Eckert is connected to those. Police records do show that he's charged with robbing a shop in Lubbock.
Three days before looting Cone Jewelers, he allegedly took off with a nearly $7,500 multi-stone ring from Meyers and Farrer Jewelers.
But the arrest affidavit from Odessa Police and the palm print is what helped the Lubbock Sheriff's Office make the arrest on Monday.
"We're just glad it ended up the way it did," LeSueur said.