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Flea market booth robbed of $28,300 in jewelry

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
A China Grove man is out nearly $30,000 after thieves cleaned out his booth at the Webb Road Flea Market.
Donald Robert Harris, who has had a booth at the flea market for 25 years, typically locks up all the jewelry when he closes each evening.
On Saturday evening, he was in a hurry to get out and take his daughter to dinner to celebrate her birthday.
He took time to lock up the gold jewelry but left hundreds of silver rings, charms and other items on display in his booth in Building 1.
During the night, possibly between 1:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. Sunday, thieves entered the building, cut locks, broke doors and busted one display case.
He’s sure it had to be more than one person.
“There was a lot to carry, I don’t think they would have taken the chance to make several trips,” Harris said Tuesday.
It’s unclear exactly when the theft occurred. Harris said the alarm system for the flea market is turned off when security guards are making their rounds.
One guard apparently went through around 1:30 a.m. and found no problems. The theft was discovered around 5:30 a.m.
An inventory of items taken puts the value at $28,300.
Among the items were more than 1,000 silver charms, including a variety of types from religious to animals.
And none of the loss is insured.
Harris said he can’t get insurance because of the flea market setting.
This is the second major theft Harris has suffered at the flea market.
About 12 years ago, a thief took thousands of dollars in gold jewelry.
“They were pretty sure who did it. … He was selling gold on the street in East Spencer, but there was never any arrest. I never got anything back,” Harris said.
He is offering a reward for information. Anyone with information is asked to call the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office at 704-216-8700.
Some other booths were also broken into. The losses were not as great, however.
Capt. John Sifford said several items were taken from a booth that features Native American items. An inventory hasn’t been completed.
And six pocketbooks were taken from another booth.

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