Ohio Man Arrested for $7M Heist at Wisconsin Jewelry Store

CrimeNov 17, 2020

Ohio Man Arrested for $7M Heist at Wisconsin Jewelry Store

James Patrick Quinn allegedly took part in the burglary of Treiber & Straub Jewelers four years ago.

Brookfield, Wis.—An Ohio man has been arrested and charged for his role in a $7 million heist at a Wisconsin jewelry store four years ago.

According to an affidavit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, James Patrick Quinn, 55, was involved in the burglary of Treiber & Straub Jewelers in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield in July 2016. 

The affidavit states the burglars entered the store by cutting phone and cable lines, removing light bulbs from exterior lights, spraying foam onto external audio alarms and then prying open the back door. 

The suspects disabled the interior alarm system and cut a hole into the vault using sledgehammers and power tools, taking more than $7 million in jewelry, diamonds, watches and other items. 

Authorities allege Quinn and his accomplices likely planned the burglary a year in advance. In 2015, the jewelry store called the Brookfield Police Department to report seeing two men in surveillance footage carrying flashlights and looking into one of the store’s windows.

The camera caught a close-up of one of the men as he peered in. 

Nearly three years later, in July 2019, an FBI agent traveled to Youngstown, Ohio with a Brookfield Police Department detective to meet with local law enforcement officials there regarding the burglary.

They showed the officials stills from the surveillance footage, and they were able to identify one of the subjects as Quinn, an individual known to law enforcement as a professional burglar.

According to the affidavit, Quinn has a criminal history, with 11 arrests between 1993 and 2016, including multiple charges of theft, breaking and entering, possession of burglary tools, criminal trespass, burglary and receiving stolen property. 

A second suspect was identified only as “F.S.” 

A warrant was issued for authorities to take DNA swabs of Quinn and F.S. for comparison with what was found at Treiber & Straub Jewelers in 2016. 

They tracked Quinn down for those purposes at his Austintown, Ohio address. 

He fled when they tried to approach him, but was caught after a brief chase, according to the FBI agent’s statement, and the swab warrant was executed though no match has yet been found. 

During the chase, Quinn dropped a white plastic bag containing three paper envelopes with writing on them indicating diamonds’ carat weight, cut and clarity and three GIA report numbers that coincided with stones taken during the July 2016 burglary. 

A later search warrant of his residence also revealed a loupe and two books—“Diamonds” and “Superthief,” a book about career criminal Phil Christopher—among other items, the affidavit states. 

The call log on a cell phone found at Quinn’s residence also showed multiple calls between Youngstown, Ohio and Brookfield, Wisconsin, as well as a few locations on the route between the two. 

Based on the evidence found from July 2019 onward, the affadavit states, Quinn was arrested on Nov. 10. He was released on a $20,000 bond Tuesday. 

His next court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 23.
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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