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Duluth woman accused in $800,000 jewelry theft

A woman who allegedly began taking and then pawning jewelry from the Duluth store where she worked to make ends meet eventually got “greedy” and is accused of stealing nearly $800,000 worth of goods over a two-year period, court records show.

A St. Louis County District Court complaint filed Nov. 15 details a felony theft count against Ashley Marie Wiskow of Duluth.

Wiskow, 29, worked at Security Jewelers in downtown Duluth for more than two years before the theft was discovered. In early October, an investigator with the Duluth Police Department was reviewing an unrelated burglary case with a check of area pawn records. She discovered several transactions made by Wiskow. More checking revealed that Wiskow made 278 sales beginning in February 2011, the police officer’s report says.

A check of Wiskow’s Facebook page revealed that she worked at Security Jewelers.

Owner Jack Seiler confirmed that she worked there and also identified jewelry Wiskow sold to Gold Guys and Pawn America, the report says. Many of the items had specific identifiable markings or were items only sold at the store, Seiler told police.

Wiskow was interviewed at her home Oct. 10 and eventually admitted stealing items from the store, police said.

“The defendant stated she was not making enough money to pay the bills so she began to take items to live,” the police report said. It went on to say Wiskow admitted she got “greedy and kept stealing.”

Wiskow took items that were stored away from the view of security cameras, mostly stock or returned items, the report said.

Pawn records show Wiskow received more than $60,000 from the pawn shops through the 278 transactions. Those items had a retail value of $796,883, Police said. Most of the jewelry wasn’t recovered.

Efforts to reach Wiskow for comment were unsuccessful.

Seiler said much of the items stolen were considered scrap and would be melted down. He estimated the total value of all the items stolen at $101,454, saying the police may have other methods for computing its value.

The items that were recovered from the shops had a retail value of $57,000, police said.

Wiskow will make an appearance in district court Dec. 19. She has a summons for that court date and is not in jail.

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