Jewelry clerk charged with stealing diamonds

An employee of a downtown jewelry store landed in jail on aggravated theft charges after the store's owner discovered more than $10,000 worth of diamonds missing, Medford police said.

The owner of Pacific Diamond Jewelers discovered missing store inventory earlier this month and contacted police April 17, Medford police Sgt. Kevin Walruff said. Store employees cooperated with investigators, who uncovered an employee theft, he said.

Laurie Ann Asplin, 48, of Meadowbrooks Lane, Williams, was arrested at the police station Wednesday at 5 p.m. on two counts of aggravated theft and two counts of first-degree theft. She was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on $50,000 bail, but was released on her own recognizance Thursday after her initial court appearance. Her next court hearing is set for May 12.

Walruff said Asplin helped investigators recover some of the items, but some are still missing. He declined to describe the missing merchandise, but said authorities hope to recover it.

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