Two Arrested In Major Jewelry Theft

May 8, 2003


Los Angeles: For several months, detectives from Los Angles Police Department’s Commercial Crimes Division (CCD) have been monitoring the activities of two New York State residents. 36 year-old Catalina Palacios and 27 year-old John Salguero, both involved in the jewelry business in the New York City area, have been traveling to locations in close proximity of major national jewel thefts/robberies.
On May 1, 2003, a Los Angeles jeweler suffered a major loss when his vehicle was burglarized in the City of Arcadia. The suspects removed several hundred items of high-end jewelry from the victim’s vehicle.
On May 5, 2003, CCD detectives learned that Palacios and Salguero were again flying from New York to Los Angeles. After they landed, the detectives initiated surveillance and followed the couple to a local hotel. Palacios and Salguero then met with an unidentified individual in their hotel room. A short time later, the couple left their hotel and shipped a package. At approximately 8:30 p.m., both were taken into custody and booked for California Penal Code Section 496(A), Receiving Stolen Property.
On May 6, 2003, CCD detectives served a search warrant on the package mailed by the couple the previous day and discovered that it contained the jewelry taken on May 1st. It is estimated the retail value of the recovered jewelry is $500,000.00.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has filed felony charges against the couple and has placed their bail at $1,000,000.00 each.
As a result of the Los Angeles arrest, New York City Police detectives and investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation believe that Palacios and Salguero may have purchased stolen jewelry from several other serial thieves in the recent past. The value of the aforementioned losses may total over $10,000,000.00.
Photos of the stolen jewelry are available for media use. Contact LAPD Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586 for further information.
This press release was prepared by Lieutenant Rob Edgar, Commercial Crimes Division, 213-485-2524. For further information, contact Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.