Update: Teen cleared in $12K jewelry theft

Rain Smith • Updated Dec 6, 2017 at 3:16 PM

Update, Nov. 13, 2018: During a September meeting of a Sullivan County grand jury, the case against Alden Warhurst was presented and charges against him were dropped. A no true bill was returned, as the grand jury did not find sufficient evidence to charge Warhurst with theft of more than $10,000.  

Previously reported:

KINGSPORT — A woman’s generosity in letting her son’s displaced friend stay at their home was reciprocated by felony theft, according to police, as the teenage guest swiped more than $12,000 in jewelry during his three-week stay.

Alden B. Warhurst, 18, was jailed Tuesday by Kingsport police. A warrant had been obtained for his arrest following the investigation of a November complaint from a resident of Chesterfield Drive.

The victim reported that Warhurst is a friend of her son. When Warhurst was allegedly “kicked out” of his home in mid-September, her son asked if Warhurst could stay at their residence, and the woman gave permission.

Warhurst reportedly lived with the pair up until Oct. 8. After his departure — the circumstances of which are not listed in police record — the woman reported jewelry missing from her bedroom.

Pieces suspected of having been stolen included two diamond necklaces totaling $5,000 in value, an $1,800 diamond bracelet and a $2,000 diamond ring. Combined with other miscellaneous jewelry and a PS4 that was missing, the amount of the theft was estimated at $12,550.

The victim suspected Warhurst of stealing the items, but according to police she had no evidence. She reportedly delayed reporting the crime because she was “visiting local pawn shops attempting to find the jewelry herself.”

KPD Public Information Officer Tom Patton says detectives began investigating the case. Some of the missing property was located at Albert’s Pawn on West Center Street, Warhurst was positively identified as a suspect in the theft and a warrant was obtained.

On Tuesday afternoon, Warhurst was located, arrested and jailed on one count of theft of property over $10,000.  KPD records indicate that approximately $6,000 worth of the stolen items have been recovered thus far. An investigation is continuing.

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