Crime

TN Jewelry Store Employee Is Fifth Arrested in Home Invasion Robbery

CrimeMar 23, 2021

TN Jewelry Store Employee Is Fifth Arrested in Home Invasion Robbery

Marshall “Sonny” Belew faces multiple charges for his alleged role in stealing a safe filled with nearly $1 million in antique jewelry.

Bowling Green, Ky.—A Tennessee jewelry store employee has been arrested for his alleged role in a July 2020 home invasion in which the robbers stole a safe containing about $1 million in antique jewelry.

Court documents show Kentucky police arrested 51-year-old Marshall “Sonny” Belew on March 8.

Belew is the son of the owners of, and an employee at, American Jewelry, which has two locations in Tennessee, Brentwood and Mt. Julien.

The Jewelers’ Security Alliance reported on the crime when it happened last year.

According to JSA, at about 10:30 a.m. on July 13, three men disguised as delivery drivers knocked on the door of a residence/home office in Bowling Green, Kentucky belonging to the late Dr. Barbara G. Burch.

Burch was the former provost of Western Kentucky University who died in January 2020 at the age of 81, leaving behind her husband.

51-year-old Marshall “Sonny” Belew

One suspect allegedly pulled a gun on the employee who opened the door, tied her up and held her at gunpoint while the other two men wheeled out a large safe.

Police arrested four individuals in January in connection with the crime: the two men who allegedly carried out the robbery—both of whom reportedly said a third individual was involved—and two former jewelry wholesalers who were friends with Burch and allegedly help set it up. 

Bowling Green police tied Belew to the case using cell phone records, according to the arrest warrant, which showed that a phone number traced back to him was directly involved with the robbery. 

He faces multiple charges, including first-degree robbery, kidnapping, second-degree assault, and theft over $100,000.

Local reports said none of the 300 to 400 pieces of jewelry in the stolen safe have been recovered yet. 

Belew’s case has been handed over to a grand jury. 
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.
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