News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 31, 2014

Man pleads guilty in stolen jewelry case

Probation for not keeping records

Staff Report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A Terre Haute business owner arrested in 2012 in a stolen property investigation received a one-year suspended sentence on Friday.

Donald R. Bland pled guilty in Vigo Superior Court 1 to seven class-A misdemeanor counts of failing to keep or maintain records of used jewelry purchases.

The plea agreement dismissed another 12 criminal counts, including corrupt business influence, money laundering and attempted receiving stolen property.

Bland was placed on informal probation for 365 days, and was ordered not to engage in the sale, purchase or transfer of used jewelry of precious metals.

Bland was charged following a 10-month investigation by the Terre Haute Police Department into activity at Northside Collectibles in the 2300 block of Lafayette Avenue.

Bland’s employee Todd Carter was also arrested on multiple criminal charges related to the investigation. Carter’s criminal case has not yet been resolved.

According to information filed in Vigo Superior Court 1, an investigation into the business began after police received a citizen complaint about the business purchasing used jewelry and not requiring the sellers to show identification before the transaction, as required by law.

It was also reported that as long as the seller of the jewelry did not disclose information about an item being stolen, the business would buy it.

The investigation involved confidential informants who took jewelry items purchased by THPD to the shop and sold those items without showing identification, while the business did not keep required records about the transactions.

The business also violated a local ordinance when it failed to enter the transactions in an online database used by local police to track sales of second-hand merchandise.