Accused Jewel Thief Turns Down Her Plea Deal and Will Head to Trial


A woman police say admitted to stealing more than $21,000 worth of jewelry from the Wichita Falls jewelry store where she worked has turned down a plea offer for 10 years deferred adjudication.

Had 30-year-old Melinda Wilson accepted the plea offer, she would have had her record cleared after completing the probation. The plea offer also would have required her to pay restitution.

According to the original arrest affidavit, in 2015 the manager of Samuel’s Jewelers in Sikes Senter reported a diamond ring was missing and she suspected an employee had taken it.

In their investigation, police learned many other pieces of jewelry were missing, and that Wilson had been to a pawn shop in Dallas where two missing rings were sold. Police say the could find no other pawn shop transactions for Melinda Wilson in the computer, but then discovered she had an alias of Melinda Perez, and found numerous pawn shop transactions involving jewelry under that name.

Police then asked for a list of missing items since Wilson was hired in 2014 and learned of numerous pieces of jewelry missing, which included the diamond ring and setting sold in Dallas. A detective interviewed Wilson and say she voluntarily confessed to stealing 10 pieces of jewelry while working at the store.

Police say they confirmed eight pieces of jewelry taken by Wilson that were worth an estimated $21,563, though the value of one ring was not even set and added to the total. The most expensive ring was valued at more than $8,000. Since Wilson declined to accept the plea offer, her case will be set for the trial docket.


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