Police: Electrician stole $12K in jewelry from cancer survivor

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - An electrician is behind bars after allegedly stealing over $12,000 worth of jewelry from a cancer survivor.

James Earl Berkley was arrested by Mt. Pleasant Police Wednesday and charged with grand larceny.

According to an affidavit, Berkley stole approximately $12,325 in jewelry while working as an electrical contractor at a home in the Ion subdivision.

Mt. Pleasant police say the homeowners contacted authorities on May 16 to report the disappearance of thousands of dollars in men and women's jewelry, including watches, diamond rings, and diamond earrings.

One of homeowners told us Berkley had been working at the house since last Fall.

She said some of the pieces of jewelry are more than twenty years old, including a wedding band that is 47 years old.

The couple told police they had been undergoing a home remodel over the past nine months, so when they first noticed some jewelry was missing they thought it was just misplaced due to disorganization. It was not until noticing the quantity of missing jewelry and the arrival of a "suspicious man" claiming to come do work at the house that they decided to call the cops, they said.

Court records state pawn receipts from two pawn shops in Moncks Corner revealed several of the stolen items were sold on May 12 and 14.

An investigation determined Berkley was working at the home during the time the jewelry went missing. The couple told police they were not always at home when work was being done at the house.

Berkley is being held at the Charleston County Detention Center. His bond was set at $20,000.

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