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Jewelry store owner relieved after recovery of stolen items


MADISON (WKOW) — More than $10-thousand worth of jewelry stolen from a local business has now been recovered from a Madison creek.  

City officials found several hundred pieces of jewelry in the muddy water of Starkweather Creek Tuesday morning. The items were stolen from Burnie’s Rock Shop in January, according to police.

Investigators and the store owner both say they never expected to find what was taken. 

"It’s a big case so you’re just happy to get some closure," said Det. Tracie Jokala. "A lot of times, property is gone. It’s gone. It’s pawned, it’s in Chicago, it’s somewhere else, it’s traded away for people’s addictions and to find the entire bag of almost all of it … is one in a million."

Owner Nevin Franke says he’s relieved to know where some of the items ended up. He’ll now work with the insurance company to assess the recovered items and determine if they can be saved. 

"We’re enthused, for sure. Just having an insurance settlement doesn’t bring us the goods back and it’s all the kind of stuff where it’s hand-selected, you know, you need items, so whereas it’s great to have the insurance settlement, it doesn’t make us whole in terms of restoring all of that nice quality workmanship," Franke told 27 News.

Police have arrested Richard Lynch, 53, for the burglary. Police say he was taken into custody within weeks of the burglary after someone sent in a tip, but at the time he had declined to speak with them about the location of the stolen items. He recently came forward with details, which led investigators to the jewelry, according to Det. Jokala.