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Jewelry store owner arrested in connection with Bowling Green theft

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    BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky (WSMV) — The owner of a Brentwood jewelry store is among those arrested in connection with trying to steal the jewelry collection of the late Western Kentucky University Provost Barbara Burch, according to court documents.

Marshall D. Belew II, 51, of Mount Juliet, was arrested earlier this month and charged with complicity to first-degree robbery, complicity to kidnapping, complicity to second-degree assault and complicity to theft by unlawful taking ($10,000 or more) in connection with the theft of a safe containing Burch’s jewelry collection, which contained hundreds of pieces of jewelry worth more than $1 million, according to court records.

Bowling Green Police Department Detective Tim Buss testified during a hearing in Warren District Court that Belew is the owner/operator of American Jewelry, which has locations in Brentwood and Mount Juliet.

Court documents alleged that Belew, aka Sonny Belew, provided information about the residence, equipment to commit the robbery and took possession of the safe and stolen jewelry after it was removed from the home on July 13, 2020. Court records also show a phone number connected to Belew traveled from Tennessee to Bowling Green on the day of the robbery, was present in Bowling Green during the time of the robbery and then returned to Tennessee afterward. Text messages sent from the phone appear to reference accessing the stolen safe after the robbery and that it contained jewelry.

Bowling Green Police responded to the home after a call of burglary in progress. Upon arrival, officers discovered multiple suspects had entered the home and assaulted an employee who was working in the home office of the Burch residence. The employee was restrained with zip ties while the suspects removed a large safe which contained 300-400 pieces of jewelry valued at around $1 million.

Police said Javier Nunez, 41, and Nicolas Cruz Palacios, 41, both of Old Hickory, TN, are charged with first-degree robbery, kidnapping and second-degree assault. They are accused of entering the home and tackled the worker inside the home, possibly breaking her ankle. The victim told police the suspect put a small black handgun against her neck and bound her hands together behind her back with zip ties.

Kevin Burch, son of Kenneth and Barbara Burch, was able to provide video footage of the suspects entering the home. Another worker at the home told police he spoke to a suspect in the suspected vehicle used in the robbery, a white Ford Econoline van.

Kevin Burch told police his mom and dad had purchased the jewelry over the past 10 years from Jeff Weisman and Pat Boyer, who intended to open a jewelry store in the near future. Kevin Burch said Weisman called them at 6:30 a.m. to inquire if he was still taking his father to a doctor’s appointment at 9:30 and that he knew his dad would not be home.

Jeff and Patricia Weisman were arrested on Dec. 21, 2020, on charges of complicity to first-degree robbery, complicity to kidnapping, complicity to second-degree assault and complicity to theft by unlawful taking ($10,000 or more) in connection with the theft of a safe.

Court documents said it was determined that Jeff and Patricia Weisman knew the victims and had inside knowledge of the contents of the safe as well as security features of the home. Police also determined that the Weisman planned and hired the individuals who completed the robbery.

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