NORWALK, Conn. A man has been charged in connection with a Wednesday afternoon theft at a South Norwalk jewelry store owned by Board of Education Chairman Jack Chiaramonte, police said.
Thomas Mapp, 55, was charged with third-degree larceny after a case was smashed and about $3,500 worth of silver bracelets and other jewelry was taken from SoNo Silver Co. at 52 N. Main St. at about 12:30 p.m., Norwalk Police Lt. David Wrinn said.
Police located Mapp, who has no known address, about a half-hour later at a friend's home on Connecticut Avenue, said Wrinn. Police do not believe the friend was involved, Wrinn added.
"It's very unusual for something like this to happen in broad daylight, in the middle of the day, but we were able to apprehend him very quickly," Wrinn said.
Chiaramonte was in Hartford on Wednesday seeking more state funding for Norwalk schools. "Something like this doesn't happen much, but we have noticed a little bit of jewelry missing over the past few weeks," said Chiaramonte.
Although his store is "not extravagant," Chiaramonte said, one of his most expensive items, a pair of gold angel wings with diamonds, was taken in Wednesday's incident.
Police were called after an employee coming out of a back room saw a jewelry case had been smashed and a man was running out of the shop, Wrinn said. A manager and the employee recognized Mapp from the area, according to Wrinn.
Mapp was seen running through an alley and getting into a car, which police tracked to a home on Connecticut Avenue, Wrinn said.
Police believe they have recovered all of the jewelry, said Wrinn.
"When the call first came in the store manager thought jewelry had been taken in excess of $20,000," said Wrinn. "But there were so many items lying around, at first it was tough to tell how much was actually missing."
Mapp has been known to stay at a local homeless shelter and has a history of larceny and other disturbances, Wrinn said. He was held Wednesday afternoon on $5,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.
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