MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 21-year-old Richfield man faces a felony theft charge after allegedly stealing jewelry from his aunt and pawning it for $1,000 in March, according to a criminal complaint filed last week in Dakota County.

A criminal complaint paints this picture of the theft: Joseph John Litchy was allegedly found on March 23 sleeping in a car in the driveway of his cousin, who lives with her mother. The cousin told police she let Litchy into her house and then left to see her mother, who was in a hospital.

When the cousin told her mother she let Litchy into the house, the mother said, “hide the jewelry.”

When the cousin returned home, she found Litchy was gone, and so was some of her mother’s jewelry. The cousin texted Litchy, asking about the jewelry. Litchy denied stealing anything, but wouldn’t return phone calls.

The cousin told police Litchy was having problems and that her mother had found pawn receipts.

A few days later, on March 26, an investigator learned Litchy had pawned 10 pieces of jewelry at a local pawn shop for $1,000. Investigators then confiscated the jewelry and got surveillance video of Litchy pulling the jewelry out of his pocket and placing it on the counter.

On the following day, an investigator met with Litchy’s cousin, who identified all the jewelry, knowing each one’s origin and defects. Investigators also learned the jewelry was worth much more than $1,000.

If convicted of the theft, Litchy faces a maximum sentence of up to 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.


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