Pillowcase Bandits leave Victim & Jewelers at Odds
The Pillowcase Bandits were finally caught napping, but not before they ravished through some 30 homes around the City of Ocala and Marion County.
Karla Cavalier is one of Robert Roberts' and Brett Aven's victims. They are now behind bars, but Cavalier says she has to pay a jeweler, where her gold was sold, to get her items back.
"But on principle, I'm not going to buy back my own things, so we're going to go through the court system," Cavalier said.
Both the Ocala Police and Marion County Sheriff's Departments are working the pillowcase robberies. But OPD Sergeant, Greg Martin of District II Property Investigations says Florida law protects pawn shops and second hand property dealers from becoming victims as well. If the items were seized, Martin explained, the dealer would also lose the cash they paid for the items.
"It's difficult because we can't just go in to the pawn shops and take back the stuff because then we'd have two victims," Martin said.
Ryan Wachtler, his and his brother, Jeremy own Wachtler & Sons. They told the Cavaliers they wouldn't make a profit and would give their jewelery back for the money they paid.
"We are not a big jeweler. We are a mom and pops store, in this case a brother and brother store. We don't have endless supply of money to throw out the window," Ryan Wachtler said.
The brothers contacted deputies after they read the names of the bandits in the paper.
"I got a bad feeling about the people and wrote down their license plate and a description of the vehicle itself," Jeremy Wachtler said.
At the time of sale, the necessary forms were filled out, including the bandit's information. That form was submitted to the Marion County Sheriff's Department.
Still, Karla Cavalier says laws need to be changed to help robbery victims in her situation. She is now filing court documents that may one day get her jewelry back. But this process has cost her $170 dollars-more money than what the jewelers require.
"They were gifts for graduating college, for having a baby," Cavalier said. "I feel like there could be more regulation that could keep this from being such a frustrating situation for the victims."
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