Man arrested in auction company break-in
BY JEFF SCHWEERS
A transient worker is in jail today after Melbourne Police arrested him on suspicion of breaking into an antique store in Melbourne.
Ralph Manuel Garcia, 48, is being held at the Brevard County jail on an $18,000 bond. Police arrested him just after noon Friday at AA Auction at 600 New Haven, records show.
He faces felony charges of burglary, grand theft of property valued at $20,000 to $100,000, trafficking in stolen property and possessing burglary tools, court records show.
According to a police report, someone broke into Betty’s Antiques, 2001 Melbourne Court, between Tuesday night and 8 a.m. Wednesday by removing the metal bars from the windows, then taking more than $20,000 worth of antique and collectible jewelry.
On Friday, police said, Garcia tried selling jewelry to the owner of AA Auction, 600 E. New Haven Ave. The owner recognized the jewelry because she is related to the owner of Betty’s Antiques and recognized the pieces, police said. She contacted police, who contacted Betty Young, the owner of Betty’s Antiques.
Young identified the jewelry, and police gave it back to her, police said.
At the time of his arrest, police said, Garcia was carrying a briefcase with a pry bar, a set of bolt cutters and a pair of socks.
Garcia's next hearing date is Aug. 3.