Mixed verdict for Jewelers' Row shop owner accused of fencing jewelry for burglary ring

Jim Melwert
January 18, 2019 - 6:58 pm
Wasim Shazad / Stolen Jewelry

Jim Melwert | KYW Newsradio

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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) -- The Jewelers' Row shop owner accused of selling jewelry stolen from homes on the Main Line and across the region was found guilty Friday of some charges against him, but not guilty of most.

Montgomery County Judge Richard Haaz found Wasim Shazad not guilty of 34 counts, and of the seven counts he did find him guilty of, he lowered four of those from a felony to a misdemeanor. 

Shazad’s attorney, Steve Fairlie, says he considers this a win, since Shazad was facing dozens of charges, accused of being connected to thefts from hundreds of victims.

“The court will have a range of options," Fairlie said, "but probation is within the standard range of the charges he was convicted of.”

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Prosecutor Allison Ruth says while they’re disappointed with the verdict, they will argue for prison time at sentencing.

“The defendant has routinely broken the law for a number of years with a disregard for the community and the individuals who are impacted," Ruth said, "and I want to make sure, as is their right, that they have a right to be heard at sentencing.”

Shazad’s shop on Philadelphia’s Jewelers' Row was raided in January 2017. He was accused of selling jewelry for a multi-state burglary ring. 

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The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office created a website to try to reconnect what they called stolen jewelry with its rightful owners. 

But Fairlie says they failed to prove many of those items were actually stolen.

“The district attorney’s office put out a press release in this case alleging they had recovered 50,000 items from him," Fairlie said. "What they did is they took 50,000 items from him. Recovered implies they were somebody else's and that’s never been proven in this case.”

The DA’s office declined comment regarding the website.