Transcript of True Crime Vault: Diamonds ... | Happy Scribe (2024)


Hey, it's Brad Milke, host of ABC's daily news podcast. Start here. And I'm honored to say start here, along with several ABC audio projects, are up for Webby awards. Voting is open to the public, and we're all really excited about these awards, but this vote closes on Thursday, so please don't wait. You can go to webbys. That's webbys. Webys. To cast your vote for, start here along with other ABC news shows. Really appreciate it.


This is Deborah Roberts. Welcome to the 2020 true crime vault. Each week, we reach back into our archives and bring you a story we found unforgettable.


Only a true psychopath could do this. Pool of blood coming from his head.


Somebody had been paid to kill me.


Why would you want your husband killed?


Take a listen.


Coming up, high end jewelers with similar stories to tell.


He was wearing a nice shirt and tie and jacket.


I had the diamonds kind of tucked right here, and he reached over my shoulder, pulled on them. I pulled back.


The guy just pointed a stun gun at my chest and banged me. He looked back at me and he said, I'm sorry, man, but I really need the money. It has happened again and again. It is caught on camera. A bold diamond theft.


Meet the bling ring. Turning on the charm to steal hearts and diamonds.


You're kind of describing the doppelganger for Brad Pitt in Ocean's eleven.


It was almost like it was a tv show type or a movie or something.




So disarming, they enlisted a chihuahua named Roxy. So inventive, they made their escape on wave runners. Their robbery roadshow covering nine states, 25 stores, and grabbing more than $4 million in hot ice.


Pretty much a cape for.


If I just made $500,000 in less than 5 seconds, why would I stop?


We take you back to the scenes of the crime and into the hunt to catch them.


This was a case of a lifetime.


They needed to be stopped, and we were the people to stop them.


A cat and mouse game where the mouse is hiding in plain sight, flaunting loot and locations online.


They're wearing very fancy designer clothes, expensive.


Watches, designer jeans, even using their cash as a cushion. How long could this game go on?


The likelihood of them getting caught was zero.


Maybe so, but diamonds aren't forever. I'm John Quinones. It seemed at first like isolated cases here and there, jewelry stores hit by lone thieves. But a long shot lead would reveal dozens of robberies orchestrated by one of America's most notorious bling rings, their hits so finely tuned, they unfolded like scenes in an action movie. The gang's cons and their capers would taunt police officers across the country trying to catch them. But would their high style ways become their undoing? In 2015, Matt Gutman traveled from coast to coast, following the trail of clues.


Mid afternoon in Portland, Oregon's downtown district. It's the usual hustle and bustle. Things are about to get downright unusual. Watch carefully.


It's very vivid because it's burned into your memory.


Burned is exactly what jeweler David Margulis got the day architect Jason Shaw entered his store.


He was very clean cut. He was wearing a nice shirt and tie and jacket like we're dressed, with.


Money in his pocket and engagement on his mind. The ring shopping Romeo puts the staff at ease.


He then said, may I compare the two rings and see them both together?


But in an instant, he changes the rules of engagement from a potential suitor to stone cold crook.


He turns on his heels and just jumps off the stairway, running out the door. And I took one look and knew what was going on and ran right after him.


Crime alert now about a thief dressed so well, he took his victims by surprise.


So what really went down at the Margulis jewelry store in Portland? Well, cracking the case becomes the responsibility and borderline obsession of veteran detectives Eric McDaniel and Brian Hughes.


There's a digital signature to every one of these.


Starsky and Hutch. They're not. McDaniel drives a Kia four door, and Hughes usually has his trigger finger on a computer mouse.


I mean, we're talking property crimes here. They don't make a lot of news stories about property crime investigations.


But make no mistake, these are straight shooting investigators, highly trained, highly motivated, arriving on scene to find a curious set of circ*mstances.


We have a lot of police officers that work in our downtown corps, and for the person to get away that quick was unusual.


The property crimes around here usually involve someone looking to make a quick score for drug money. But detectives feel the tale of the tape tells them otherwise.


We were under the impression, by the way, the fella carried himself. He wasn't local. He seemed like he was squared away and had a plan.


And they have another hunch. They don't think that he was working alone.


There's got to be more than one guy. I mean, just from our experience, there always is.


Let's rewind to show you what the police figured out, what the jeweler didn't realize at the time, person must have known how to get away and must have had someone waiting for him to help him.


That's correct.


There's a team of fellows out here.


On the streets looking out for him to do the theft.


In this case, the suspect, dubbed the runner, has been provided all the tools needed to succeed. Hes been told what to say, how to say it. Even his identity is scripted. Hes not Jason Shaw, and hes not an architect. Hes wearing clear glasses to alter his appearance and a fancy suit to appear successful. All of it provided by a man sitting outside orchestrating the entire event. Hes called the risk reducer, and he communicates through a disposable cell phone.


He pre planned everything to a point where the risks were reduced and the likelihood of them getting caught was zero.


The second in command is also parked nearby. He's called the hero stopper.


The person that stops the hero is going to have some pepper spray on him or something to try to incapacitate the good citizen trying to stop the thief.


Around the block, waiting for his cue with the engine running, is another guy. The getaway driver is getting into place. He's driving a white Dodge minivan stolen specifically for this job.


You steal a car, it was never registered to you. There's nothing on paper showing you put money down for it. And that way you can just leave it. So there was a risk there, but I think it was a smart one.


When the runner makes his move and exits store left, it's not a random choice. The risk reducer has mapped out every step of the escape route. That's the jewelry store right there. This is Broadway. He hooks a left into the Pacific center that has one very important feature. The runner ducks into a nearby office building called the Pacific center because he doesn't want to be at the center of attention. He comes barreling down these stairs, races across the tile, and hits those revolving doors with a full head of steam. And that's this exit through the building on Southwest 6th street. Now, there's a minivan waiting right here. Its doors open, and they drive away with $147,000 worth of diamonds.


It was very successful, but I do have to give the guys credit.


But wait, there's more. The runner alerts the risk reducer of a mistake. During the heist, he left fingerprints on the front door. And look at this. True to his title, the risk reducer returns to the store during all the confusion and wipes the prints off the door. Meanwhile, the getaway driver steers that dodge minivan south toward Salem, where it's abandoned. Now everyone piles into a pickup truck known as the wash vehicle. This truck is not a stolen vehicle and has never been used in a crime, providing everyone inside with an added layer of protection.


I think that they were very confident in their level of planning and their skills and abilities.


But who are these guys? Nobody seems to know. And at this point, the detectives are still playing catch up. They get the word out to pawnshops in case anyone attempts to sell the rings, and they run down a host of dead ends.


There were other tips that came in that I had to follow up on. They didn't seem promising.


Hughes and McDaniels suspect this isn't the work of a local crew.


These kinds of crimes are not real common here in the Portland metropolitan area. I had been a property crime investigator for some time and was familiar with the crime trends in Oregon, and that was unique for this state.


And whoever the so called Jason Shaw really is, he hasn't stuck around to find out how the story ends.


With all the cameras, we had a very clear view of him. However, it was a cold trail because.


He left the city, maybe, but it doesn't look like he and his crew went far. Another robbery goes down about 10 miles outside of Portland.


It has happened again and again. It is caught on camera. A bold diamond theft, this one in Lake Oswego.


This time, the runner is bundled up in hat and gloves with a warm heart for his girlfriend.


He said that his girlfriend loved one of the necklaces that was in the window and asked to see it.


As the salesperson goes to get that necklace, he turns his attention to a safe in the back. As you see, he's not just a runner, but a high hurdler hopping over the counter, swiping a total of five different diamonds, and back out the front door.


For a moment, I was just stunned, and I said to him, no, you don't.


Oh, yes, he does. Still no arrests and only headaches. Weeks pass. Then one day, the phone rings. It's a call that'll turn this case and the lives of our two detectives upside down.


We knew this is gonna be something that we're never gonna get to experience again in our lives. As far as an investigation, this was.


A case of a lifetime.


Coming up, a jailbird sings. But how does he know how the gang operates?


It's pretty much a cakewalk.


I mean, it's a monkey to do it.


And detectives quickly learn they're pursuing not one, but a trail of robberies. With the bling ring, signature moves, it.


Does get real big.


Stay with us.


We've got the exclusive view behind the table every day right after the show. While the topics are still hot, the ladies can deeper into the moments that make the view the view the views behind the table podcast. Listen wherever you get your podcasts. Hey, I'm Andy Mitchell, a New York Times bestselling author. And I'm Sabrina Kohlberg, a morning television producer. We're moms of toddlers and best friends of 20 years, and we both love to talk about being parents, yes, but also pop culture. So we're combining our two interests by talking to celebrities, writers, and fellow scholars of tv and movies, really about what we all can learn from the fictional moms we love to watch from ABC audio and Good Morning America. Pop culture moms is out now. Wherever you listen to podcasts.


Detectives in Portland seem to have hit a dead end. Despite having surveillance tapes in two jewelry store robberies, they are still unable to id the thieves. But as Matt Gutman reports, their luck is about to change.


After months of frustration trying to put a name to this face, a crime stopper's tip does just that. Detectives Eric McDaniel and Brian Hughes.


We got a tip from 3000 miles away telling us, I know who that is. And that's what started the case going.


The two detectives fly all the way from Portland to North Carolina for a meeting with a sketchy suspect named Victor Lupus, already on probation for assault. It's a long shot. Even if this is their guy, why would he roll over? But it's the only shot they've got.


Even though it's the best thing for him to do, to cooperate, that's not the natural reaction for a thief. It's to shut down.




That's exactly what he did. He denied ever being out here.


But cops know differently.


The key point for us is he tells us he's never been farther than the Mississippi river, never been farther west. At the end of the day, when we serve a warrant on his house and find receipts with his name on them and plane tickets to Portland, Oregon, it's not a lot, but you already have him caught in a lie.


And that's how orange literally becomes the new black. Lupus is arrested for the Margulis robbery, and this new orange jail suit replaces the black overcoat he wore the day he took those diamonds and ran. Detective McDaniel cleverly advises Lupus of his very limited options.


Usually the guy that steps up first and is ready to change his life. It goes easier for him, but you still have to have ownership.


Caught between a rock and a hard place. UpAs begins to tell all. First he confesses to the Portland robbery.


She put them in my hands and was looking at him. Why not the front door?


Then he has a few more things to say. Detectives are all ears as lupus begins to name names.


Yeah, that's Michael Young. And yeah, that's Ernie.


Okay. Ernie Riemor.




And that is how detectives learn the identities of all of the other smooth operators in Portland. Remember the so called risk reducer who wipe the prince away at Margulis jewelers? Lupus ids him as the ringleader, Michael Young.


I was freaking out because I hit the handle with my fingers on the way out. So he said he cleaned it on my fingerprints.


So Michael Young cleaned your fingerprints out the door when you hit it going out?




Who's Michael Young? An ex con who rules with an iron fist. He implies he's part of a crime family and threatens retaliation with those who dare to cross him. Young was also a master manipulator who lured in new recruits like the Pied Piper.


They were living in the nice houses with the bikes, cars, money, promising us the world.


If Michael Young is the CEO. His right hand man, Ernest Remore, is his CLO chief larceny officer. The pair, both in their thirties, had tried and failed to steal diamonds before and spent some time in prison for their efforts. This time around, they've taken a hands off approach.


One of their ideas is Michael Young and Ernest remore are going to take themselves out of the actual active role of doing the thefts and stand back and pull the strings.


That business plan opened up entry level positions for younger guys like lupus.


I think he was just living a little bit too much of the party life and wanted the quick money.


And others like Trey Adams, he could.


Never bring himself to do the actual thefts of the diamonds. But his big role was to steal cars, usually minivans, and be the getaway driver.


And Jack Cannon, a runner extraordinaire, a man born to steal diamonds. When it comes to stealing hearts, he gives all new meaning to unpolished.


We couldn't find one person in the world from his family that likes him because he's a manipulator and only cares about himself. There's a website dedicated to Jack Cannon about all the girls that hate him.


One of the benefits promised to new recruits at Michael Young Inc is a company guarantee.


If anything goes wrong, you'll be taken care of. We'll bail you out, we'll take care of your family, we'll buy you a lawyer.


But Lupus finds out the hard way there's no honor among thieves. He's left to rot in jail. So Lupus, feeling double crossed, begins spinning her tail from the usual suspects. All he's missing is Kevin Spacey's limp. All right, you all know the drill. It begins long ago and far from Portland. Lufas tells investigators the gang cut its teeth down in Florida.


I mean, they ran to Florida. I've heard millions of stories in Sarasota.


At Jeweler, McCarver and Moser, where Michael Young and company use a creative and cuddly technique.


Each one had its own signature. Each one was kind of unique.


In this case, a lovable Chihuahua is brought in to steal the hearts of employees while the runner steals the diamonds.


They named the dog Roxy and brought the dog in while they committed the theft. Left the dog on the counter when they handled the rings and ran out of the store, leaving the dog behind.


Lou Wilson found out the gang's bite is worse than its bark. The vero beach jeweler had been in the game for 40 years without ever being robbed, a streak that ended when Trey Adams and Jack Cannon darkened his door.


I was expecting a customer in the store, and my bell rang. Two guys with ball caps and dark glasses were there. And I said, uh oh.


His next utterance may have been, ah.


Trey had gone in first and came in with the taser and shot the old guy in the chest with the taser.


The guy just pointed a stun gun at my chest and banged me. I shook, but I didn't fall. And then he banged me again, and he banged me a third time. And I see your legs kind of give out, and your whole body just sort of quivers.


The gang could feel Wilson's pain. Weeks earlier, they'd taken turns shooting each other with stun guns just to see what it felt like.


Mister Young's term for practicing with the taser was, to, quote, become one with the taser.


That day in Vero Beach, Ken and Adams snatch $100,000 in diamonds. But at least they're polite about it. They start out of the office.


He looked back at me, and he said, I'm sorry, man, but I really need the money. It was kind of a bizarre thing to say.


When the robbery roadshow comes to Sanibel island, young choreographs his most daring getaway yet. There's only one way on and off this popular tourist destination, and that's this three mile long causeway that connects to the mainland tollbooth. Photos capture that moment. They cross onto the island. No problem if you're on vacation. Big problem if you've just ripped off Congress jewelers in the heart of town.


What made this one unique was after stealing the diamonds, they had put enough thought into the paper where they believed that the toll, Ruth, and the bridge could be used as choke points by the police.


So after Cannon and Trey Adams steal a $190,000 ring in broad daylight, they'd do what any good pirate would do, they'd take to the sea. So the guys leave their wash vehicle, a pickup that looks a lot like that one. And since they know they can't go over the bridge, they've got to go under it. Their mode of transportation. Waverunner. The aquatic escape allows Cannon and Adams to disappear among a wave of tourists out on the water. They are both good and lucky. The guys are halfway to safety when something happens to the wave runners and left bobbing here in the bay. Until we get some help from the most unlikely of sources. How do they pay for their rescue? With your tax dollars.


We believe that partway across the channel there that the jet skis broke down and that the United States Coast Guard helped tow them back to shore.


By now, the crew had amassed a total of nearly $2 million in stolen stones. But they were far from through, and neither is Victor Lupus's story. The lupus confession spans hours spinning a tale of 1001 heists.


We went from one jewelry theft here in the state of Oregon to over 25 in eight or nine different states across the country.


The cops better hurry. The Teflon slick diamond rustlers are bringing in their gunslinger, Jack Cannon.


If I could kill, I would have been dead right then.


Stay with us.


In North Carolina, a former member has been spilling the beans to investigators. The crew pulling off a series of diamond heists. He's naming names and revealing their methods. But there are more stories to tell, and the gang is about to make a mistake. Once again, here's Matt Gutman.


After a brief intermission, Victor Lupus returns to his interrogation room and continues to spill his stunning story of the life and crimes of the Michael Young bling ring. Next up, Tampa, Florida, where a group of diamond grabbing dashers is at it again. What was the biggest crime that you had worked on in terms of the amount stolen?


I believe close to $320,000 in just the two diamond rings.


Detective Melinda Ruiz crosses path with the crew after a local robbery here at King jewelers. The runner here has to escape the store and run through a mall. And once again, Jack Cannon is up to running that gauntlet dangerous and now suddenly dapper.


He was dressed up, suit and tie. He drew attention to himself in that the one that was able to identify him thought he was attractive.


The veteran detective says Cannon's look is altered thanks to Michael Young's girlfriend, Terry Miller, who dyes Cannon's hair blonde. You're kind of describing the doppelganger for Brad Pitt in Ocean's eleven, right? The guy in a snazzy suit, blonde hair, designer sunglasses.


Yeah, it's completely set apart from all the other cases that I had experienced up to that point.


Sure, he may have the look, but today, Cannon's game is off. For starters, he's carrying a gun in his waistband, a departure for a gang that usually arms itself, only with running shoes. Then when Cannon asks to examine these two diamond rings, he weirds out the woman at the counter.


And she notices this guy is extremely nervous. And she says, at that point, no, I'm not gonna give it to you. So she then sees the gun that's in his waistband.


Cannon's not leaving without the loot. He grabs for the ice. A struggle ensues.


He kind of gets in a struggle with her as he's trying to grab the big diamond, drops the firearm, but then gets the firearm. Piece of the firearm is falling off onto the ground.


Pieces of the firearm.


Pieces of the gun.


It's falling apart.


Falling apart. Left at the scene, when he gets.


In the struggle, eventually he breaks free, escaping with the diamonds. Jack was nimble, Jack was quick, Jack was sloppy, leaving a fingerprint.


It was awesome.


Jack Cannon. Right away.


Jack Cannon. Right away.


It isn't long before us marshals and ruiz raid Cannon's house in central Florida, stumbling upon the entire gang just hanging at home.


They looked right through me. If I could kill, I would have been dead right then.


All are interviewed, but only Cannon is charged in the robbery.


He's going to court for a jewelry store. Armed robbery.


At that point, we had no idea that this was anywhere near the level that it was, and we didn't know what their involvement was.


Cannon makes bond, and surprise, surprise, fails to show up for future court appearances.


He had taken off, went across the country, continued to operate in the robbery pattern that he had done here.


If you think getting arrested for armed robbery would change a man, you don't know Jack. Was he a dangerous guy?


I'm not a psychologist or anything, but sociopathics was what instantly hit my head when I was talking to him.


So not just a loose cannon, but also had a screw loose.




And just like that, they're gone. Leaving Florida on a cross country crime spree. Which brings them after four more capers to Portland and the robbery of the Margulis jewelers we told you about before. By now, Victor Lupus has joined them and is filling in for Jack Cannon as the runner. But it'll be months until Portland detectives McDaniel and Hughes will get the tip that leads them to lupus.


We don't know.


And while they're scratching their heads, young and company hit that other Oregon store and two more jewelers in California. Then they start planning their biggest score yet. It's Vegas, baby. And the staffers of Michael Young, Inc. Trickle into town. Terry Miller arrives first, then Ernest remore, followed by Jack Cannon. They call Victor Lupus to join the party, but he declines. He fears the group has become increasingly violent. And with two kids to think of, he decides to go straight.


I didn't want anything to do with them, you know, I was fine. You know, I was back working and they were talking about they were in Las Vegas and they kept trying to get me to come back to work with them.


But Michael Young isn't about to let lupus defection spoil the fun. His eyes remain on the prize. A high profile shop called the Jewelers of Las Vegas with a high profile tv ad.


The jewelers of Las Vegas, Nevada's most trusted jeweler. Your jeweler since 1976, the jeweler caters.


To Vegas and Hollywood royalty, supplying the bling for major films, including casinos.


There we go.


Beautiful. But on this day, they find themselves catering to Jack Cannon.


What's memorable about Jack Cannon is his demeanor and the way he talks to people. That's what people most remember about him.


Aaron Lee is a Vegas detective who says Jack Cannon should feel right at home. Home in Sin City.


This was a classic con man. He did everything right to make people feel comfortable. When he went in the store, Cannon.


Is shown here scouting the store for the first time. Weeks later, he's back with a wave, a smile, and nerves of steel.


He was very well dressed, very well mannered, and he came across like average Joe citizen.


Six diamonds come out of the safe and arrive at the counter. Cannon repeatedly wipes his hand on his sweater to keep it free of moisture. In this line of work, sticky fingers are needed, not sweaty fingers. And in an instant, half a million dollars in diamonds and one Jack Cannon vanish out the door. It's Detective Lee's job to find him.


At times as a detective, you have to put yourself in their shoes. And the greatest question that I found myself asking was, if I were them, and I just made $500,000 in less than 5 seconds. Why would I stop?


Lee gets a tip.


I believe it was an insurance investigator. Said, hey, you may want to talk to Arizona.


They had something very similar in Scottsdale, Arizona. Just two days after the gang's Vega score, they're at it again. Although their work is starting to suffer. Watch closely. Jack Kennon is about to grab and dash, but drops $146,000 in diamonds on the floor. Somehow, he thinks the best course of action is to go back and get him. He quickly scoops up both rings while she jumps over the counter in a desperate attempt to catch a thief. For those of you keeping score, it's now thieves. 3.8 million cops, nothing. But the thieves luck won't last forever. When we come back, detectives start connecting the dots and the diamonds finally tying the bling ring together.


I get a phone call, and he says, I think you might know some guys that I'm dealing with.


But what do they have to do with this place? We're taking you to Philly, city of brotherly love. Things aren't always so brotherly. I wonder if you have anything to say to the people.


You want to get that camera open?


Are you stupid? Stay with us. The cross country case of the Michael Young bling ring breaks wide open when Portland detectives Hughes and McDaniel track down Victor Lupus, and he starts singing like Sinatra.


It was Michael, Ernie.


They know the names, they know the faces, but they don't know where they are. So Detective Hughes, whose expertise is computer tracking, decides to see what breadcrumbs the crew has left on social media.


I'm always amazed at what people put online. And whether you're a doctor, a police officer, or a criminal, it's all there for the world to see.


Hughes finds ringleader Michael Young and his posse living the high life, flossing, as the kids say, staying in first class hotels and rolling up in limos.


The organizers of the group can be seen holding fists full of cash. There's one photo that actually shows Mister Young using a stack of money as a pillow.


That money is never tucked away for a rainy day.


They're wearing very fancy designer clothes, expensive watches, designer jeans.


Those travel photos become significant as the detectives begin to retrace the steps of the jewel thieves.


As the case progressed and we learned more about where the suspects had committed diamond thefts, we were able to look on the social media sites and see some correlating photos from where the crimes had occurred.


Young and his number two, Eric remore, love motorcycles. But brand new is not good enough. They send them immediately for high performance upgrades costing thousands more. They spend it as fast as they make it. That's why they need to keep stealing diamonds. But those diamonds need to be turned into dollars.


Federal agents say that after each theft, all of the diamonds and jewelry were sold in Pennsylvania.


But how do they turn that bling into Benjamin's? Welcome to Jeweler's row in Philadelphia. It's the oldest diamond district in America and home to more than 300 retailers, most of them honest, a few not so much. After each caper, the muscle of the group, Ernest remore would hop on a plane and head here. Not to a ritzy showroom, to this hole in the wall gold buyer where he fenced the diamonds.


They found a shop in Philadelphia that would play by their rules, so to speak, and take in their merchandise.


What was the name of the shop?


Three gold brothers.


This is three gold brothers. And one of its employees is the tar furnished Eric Janovsky, seen here on his MySpace profile page. He was buying the hot diamonds for cold, hard cash. We staked out three gold brothers. And when that chauffeured White Rover pulls up. I'm Matt governor from ABC News. Welcome there. Anything but golden. I wonder if you have anything to say. Investigators believe millions of dollars worth of diamonds were fenced in this basem*nt business. Wonder if you have anything to say to the people whose diamonds were stolen, the rightful owners.


You want to get that camera open?


This is a public street. We're allowed to be here.


I am not the owner.


Doesn't matter.


You work here.


What do you do here? You can tell me you're not the owner. Can you tell me what you do do here? No, I can't tell you your name, mister. Yanofsky. Are you stupid?


I just told you I'm not here.


So we found the owner. How you doing, sir? I'm Matt Guttman from ABC News. Wondering why stolen diamonds were bought and sold from this store.




Do you got anything to say about that? No comment. No comment. No comment to us. But the diamond heist gang apparently got a warmer reception. So just how does a good fence make a killing on a stolen stone? First it has to be altered so it's hard to trace.


Matt, I wanted you to see the inscription on the diamond.


David Margulis clues me in.


All important diamonds, if they're high quality, have a laser inscription. It's microscopic on the edge of the diamond. And that's placed there, it's inscribed by the Gemological Institute of America when they grade the diamond and produce a diamond grading report.


And the jewels that the bling ring.


Stole, the diamonds that were fenced, in this case, the side that had the serial number inscribed on them, was polished off. The diamonds were then resubmitted for new serial numbers, which meant that they were free and clear and could be sold on the open market. So it's highly possible that somebody in the United States is wearing a diamond ring that was taken as a result of our case.


After dropping their diamonds off in Philly, the Michael Young crew walked away with a huge payday. I guess they're not being paid in PayPal.


Bricks of cash. Bricks of cash. I mean, literally bricks of cash.


But what they did with that money violated the cardinal rule of criminality. They were flashy. They spent wildly and on social media. These guys told the world about it. Mob wannabe Michael Young should have taken a lesson from a real good fella.


I bought it for my wife.


It's a couple. And just like De Niro and Goodfellas, Michael Young is suddenly having trouble keeping the troops in line. Are you stupid or what? Did you hear what I said?


Don't buy anything. Don't get anything. Nothing big.


Did you. What's the matter with you? And now young has bigger trouble. The pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together. For investigators, it took months of legwork, but McDaniel and Hughes have compared similar crimes all over the country, from big cities to small towns. They connected the dots and linked Michael Young and his minions to dozens of robberies with one collective eureka. They realize they're all chasing the same gang. They're always one step behind.


Unfortunately, we're not all linked up.


I finally got ahold of a detective named Eric McDaniel in the Portland Police Bureau. That was a great moment for me as a detective, because he had one piece, I had the other piece.


I get a phone call from a detective Aaron Lee in Las Vegas. And at that point, he says, I think. I think you might know some guys that I'm dealing with up here. And then again, he tells me, Jack.


Cannon, basically, everybody entrusted us with their case, to bundle it into ours and make it one big one, and a.


Federal case at that, which means now the FBI is involved.


A huge resource for us to eliminate boundaries.


Now, after dozens of robberies and millions in stolen diamonds, the final chapter of this real life drama is about to play out.


They needed to be stopped, and we were the people to stop them.


But to finally bring down the bling ring. Detectives would first have to decipher some telltale and colorful clues. A bottle of red wine, an orange sweatshirt, and this black ink.


It was quite a surprise.


Stay with us. Bend, Oregon, a small jewel of a city in the Pacific Northwest. And crime boss Michael Young is coming to town. He's shopping here at Saxon Fine jewelers. It's the gang's next target, and as usual, Young is doing the advance work.


Basically, what they're doing is they're researching and talking to the weakest employee that they can identify.


But this time, the kingpin has miscalculated because he's about to meet a sharp eyed store manager named Natasha Henderson.


He came in the store, and I remember him.


Natasha Henderson tell a lot about a man from his jewelry.


I knew he was from out of the area. He had this big, kind of flashy diamond watch, something more that you would see in, like, Miami, not even in LA. It's like Miami, Atlanta, that kind of area.


Young browses for a bit, but makes no purchases. He's already got what he came for, information. He now knows Natasha's name, how she acts, how she looks, and in the.


Middle of that, he got a phone call, and I believe that is when he took my picture.


They usually go after a female if they can, because they just believe that they're the most vulnerable person to steal from.


All of Young's recon work will be passed along to Jack Cannon when he drops by the store. Natasha is not in, so Cannon leaves a business card and schedules an appointment when he returns. Cannon's attire is spread. Par for the course.


We have a lot of golfers here, and he actually walked in. And golf attire.


The story includes a prop, a celebratory bottle of wine.


He wanted to have that bottle of wine for when his wife came in, and, you know, where would we be?


Viewing the diamonds, Jack spins a story about an anniversary gift for his wife and how she'll be joining them shortly to look at a few options.


They brought props in and told a story and had props to match the story. To put the clerk at ease.


With everyone's guard down, gentleman Jack makes his play.


He kind of ushered me in front of him, which oftentimes gentlemen do. And I had had the diamonds kind of tucked right here. And he reached over my shoulder, pulled on them, I pulled back, and we kind of struggled, and I kind of realized what was happening.


As usual, the last thing the victim sees is Jack Cannon diving into a dodge minivan with bare diamonds. In this case, $150,000. Worth.


I mean, the FBI have said it over and over again. They were hot on their tail. But they just couldn't quite get there.


But it is here in Oregon that investigators catch enough clues to tighten the noose. First. That bottle of wine.


They found a fingerprint on the wine bottle. That's where he went wrong.


It's got Jack Cannon's fingerprints on it. And this time there's no risk reducer to wipe them off. Investigators dig for more.


Jack Cannon walked into a grocery store. And we actually have surveillance photos of Mister Cannon walking out of that store with a bottle of wine in hand.


The photo highlights Cannon's love of tattoos. He's a walking canvas of ink stained anger featuring flames and a death cross.


In this case, Mister Cannon walked into the store wearing a short sleeved shirt. And his tattoos are plainly obvious.


This case marks the first time Cannon's missteps will impact his cohorts. Remember the business card he left behind? The number on the card is for a prepaid cell phone purchased at this retail store a few weeks earlier.


The phones had been shipped to a. A small grocery chain that only operates two locations here in Oregon.


Detectives review that store's footage.


I have some screen captures from that surveillance footage that show a particular individual buying those throwaway phones.


Hughes, who has spent the better part of a year curating social media images of the gang, recognizes the man instantly.


The person that bought the phones at the stores is Ernest Raymore. When he's purchasing the phones, he's wearing a unique orange colored hooded sweatshirt.


The photo is significant not just for who is wearing it, but where he's wearing it.


That was in a photo taken of him on the Santiam pass, which is a scenic area where the theft was.


So cannon is linked to remore. And now remore will be linked to Michael Young.


And at that time, Ernest remore and his partner Michael Young were living together in the same house.


Search warrants are obtained, and a visit is paid to a quiet cul de sac in Salem, Oregon.


A nationwide jewelry theft ring has been busted.


It's taken a few years, but detective shoes and McDaniel finally meet up with the master criminal, Michael Young.


When I would talk to him and say, hey, you can't sell your stuff to me like you sell to everybody else. You can't manipulate me. You know we got your number, and you could tell you're hitting it right on. Because it was getting. It was getting him frustrated because he knew. He knew.


In a back closet, Hughes finds something familiar.


While searching mister remors bedroom. I located that same orange sweatshirt.


In the end, it was social media spotlighting anti social behavior that caused Michael Young Inc. To be put out of business.


Greed, I mean, that's what got him was greed. If they would have just stuck to the plane and didn't show their money off publicly, we still might be trying to figure out who they are.


Right now, the final tally is staggering. 27 robberies, 62 rings, $4,069,430 in diamonds. But now it's payback time. The ringleader is sentenced to nine and a half years in prison. Ernest remore received a ten year sentence. Getaway driver Trey Adams got away with with a seven year sentence. Victor Lupus served 22 months and has since been released. The Phil defense, Erik Genovsky is serving seven and a half months in the pen. And diamonds were not Jack Cannons best friend. Hes doing a 30 year stretch for the armed robbery. As for the three gold brothers, they were ordered to pay restitution to victims of the bling ring. There was one accomplice, however, who caught a break. Roxy, the canine collaborator used in that Sarasota robbery.


The dog was adopted by one of the employees of the jewelry store and as far as we know, is living a happy life in Florida.


And what happened to all those stolen jewels? How many of the diamonds were you actually able to return to their owners?


I believe we had just three.




For jewelers all over the country, the case marks the end of a long ordeal. But will they change the way they do business?


Yes. They are concerned at all times and overly alert.


Before we interview David Margulis, we decided to run a little test. I'm going to pose as someone who is hoping to buy his fiance a beautiful big wedding ring. I will show them my Florida id and of course, I'll have to take this thing off. Someone who is not yet married, I meet with a salesperson who is very nice and very businesslike. Nice.


Here's why.


Replacement. Okay. She asks a few questions. Is your bribe to be here in Portland? Yep. When I ask to compare one diamond to another, I'm rebuffed. Can I measure that against the other one?


Can I see?


I can only have one out at a time.


Yeah, I can only have one out at a time.


What's your biggest diamond? Your most beautiful, gorgeous diamond. My request sets off a chain reaction. The lone security guard at the door discreetly calls for backup. And suddenly two men are now near the exit. There would be no grab and dash today. The store passes the test with flying colors. That tightened security. Those hyper vigilant salespeople may prevent the next runner, but the memory of the first lingers on.


It was very disturbing, beyond disturbing, because it wrecks your trust for everyone, and it was very upsetting.


This is Deborah Roberts. As of 2017, various members of the diamond heist ring continue to serve their sentences. You've been listening to the 2020 true crime vault. Join us on Fridays at nine for all new broadcast episodes. Thanks for listening to 2020 on ABC.

Transcript of True Crime Vault: Diamonds ... | Happy Scribe (2024)
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