The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced today the arrest of a 51-year-old man after an officer's year-long investigation.
According to its Facebook page, JSO arrested John Pectle, who now faces 47 charges that include exploiting the elderly.
According to JSO, the investigation started in February 2013 when Officer Karen Goodin was searching the pawn shop database and found that Pectle had pawned several expensive pieces of custom-made jewelry, including a seven-karat yellow diamond ring that was pawned for $22,000.
That's when JSO says Goodin found Pectle was unemployed and had a criminal history, so she checked for reports of thefts or burglaries to find where the items may have been stolen. When she didn't find any reports, she went to pawn shops to take photos of the pawned items.
Goodin took more than 50 pictures of 44 items Pectle pawned over the year.
In January, JSO said Pectle pawned another ring, and when Goodin went to the pawn shop to photograph it, she noticed an engraving on the inside of the ring that said "Silverhorn" and had some numbers.
Goodin researched Silverhorn and found a custom jeweler in California, who identified three pieces of jewelry and helped Goodin identify the customer who bought them in Jacksonville.
Goodin got in touch with the owner and met with him. She showed him the photos she had taken over the past year, and according to JSO, he was surprised that every picture she had was of items stolen from him.
He and his significant other, who are in their 70s, have a home in North Carolina and a home in Jacksonville.
JSO said the couple had noticed a few items missing but figured they had either left them at their other home or in unpacked boxes and that they never thought to make a police report.
According to JSO, Goodin mentioned Pectle's name, and the victims said he had done some work on their home and that he drops his wife off every week to clean the home.
Then, JSO said the couple let Pectle drop off his wife for her weekly cleaning, and that the victims weren't home and the lady had a key to enter.
According to JSO, Pectle and his wife went in and stayed in the home for about 15 minutes before he left.
Goodin stopped Pectle a few blocks away from the home.
According to JSO, he had a wallet and a credit card belonging to the victim, and Goodin then went back to the home to get his wife.
Both Pectle and his wife were taken in to be interviewed.
JSO said Pectle wasn't cooperating until Goodin started showing him the photos she had taken in her investigation, after which he confessed and was arrested. His wife was cleared of any knowledge or wrong-doing.
According to JSO, Pectle pawned more than $500,000 in stolen items for $111,000.