Police Urge Public to Be Wary of Jewelry Scam After Man Arrested For Theft
Police urge the public to be wary when buying items from people they don’t know following the arrest of a man from Washington state earlier this week for theft.
The Hawai‘i Police Department reports that 33-year-old Vasile Calin was arrested Monday, July 11, in Kailua-Kona after a 62-year-old Big Island man reported being scammed in a jewelry purchase in Kona.
According to a media release from police, the Big Island resident told police he was approached by two men Saturday, July 2, who told him they were visitors and needed cash because their credit card did not work. The 62-year-old then paid Calin an undisclosed amount of money in exchange for jewelry, which he was told was real 18-carat gold.
However, after getting it appraised, the Big Island man learned that all the jewelry was fake.
With the assistance from the public and the victim, officers with HPD’s Kona Patrol and Community Policing Section located Calin and arrested him. After conferring with the county prosecutor’s office, Calin was charged with first-degree theft and criminal simulation.
Calin posted $5,500 bail and is scheduled to appear Aug. 11 in Kona District Court.
Posts regarding a group of men soliciting jewelry in exchange for cash at public establishments on the island have been making the rounds on social media recently.
Police remind the public that when considering a jewelry purchase from an individual, have it appraised by a licensed jeweler prior to buying it. And as always, be sure to report all suspicious activity via the police department’s nonemergency line at 808-935-3311.