New Castle jewelry theft is a relative thing
GSPI News Editor
A woman related to the victims of a $200,000 jewelry burglary was named as a suspect in the crime Wednesday.
Stephanie Foushi, 26, was last seen in Grand Junction and remained at large Wednesday. A second suspect in the case, Matthew Bartlett, 23, has been taken into custody at the Mesa County Jail on an unrelated traffic charge.
The Garfield County Sheriff’s Department has obtained arrest warrants for both Foushi and Bartlett, who face charges of second-degree burglary and theft by receiving following the mid-December burglary of the Gallicchio home near New Castle.
Florent Gallicchio said Foushi and the Gallicchios’ son had two children together, but have been separated for a while.
Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said some of the stolen jewelry was found Tuesday at a Grand Junction hotel where the suspects were staying.
“Like we thought from the beginning, it was somebody who knew the house, knew the family,” he said.
Gallicchio said he had suspected Foushi was involved in the case. She had stayed at their home and knew about the jewelry it contained, he said.
Gallicchio’s wife learned her collection of gold, diamonds and precious stones was missing when she returned Dec. 14 from a vacation. Someone had illegally entered the home that weekend, and a housesitter discovered the break-in.
Vallario said Garfield sheriff investigators followed leads from the Silt area to Grand Junction. Mesa County and Grand Junction investigators learned Tuesday that Foushi and Bartlett were staying at a hotel in Grand Junction.
Wendy Likes, a Mesa County sheriff’s spokesperson, said the two were contacted in a traffic stop. Bartlett was taken into custody on a failure to appear warrant from the Colorado State Patrol. Likes said Foushi was released because there was no active warrant out for her at that time.
Arrest warrants in the burglary case were issued after the Mesa County sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant for the hotel room in which Foushi and Bartlett were staying and reportedly found some of the missing jewelry. Foushi was not at the hotel during the search, Likes said.
Bond has been set at $20,000 each for Foushi and Bartlett.
Vallario said Wednesday afternoon that Foushi may not have been aware as of then that she was wanted by police. She may first learn from media reports that a warrant is out for her.
“Obviously, the best thing for her to do would be to turn herself in,” he said.
Said Likes, “I imagine she knows if we searched her room, she’s in trouble.”
Vallario said police had no known addresses for Foushi and Bartlett, but they previously lived in New Castle.
Vallario said Mesa County investigators are continuing to search for the remaining missing jewelry. He said police are “fairly confident” the jewelry is still somewhere in Mesa County.
Gallicchio’s wife had been collecting the jewelry for decades. Some of it consisted of precious family heirlooms, he said.
“She’s very, very down right now,” Gallicchio said. “She really hopes she finds everything.”
Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. 516
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