UPDATED August 16, 2013
By Julie Montanaro
A Tallahassee man accused of stealing jewelry from the dead is headed to prison for it.
Court records show Kishion Thomas was sentenced this week to 18 months in prison for helping himself to jewelry boxes and dresser drawers of residents at the St, Augustine Plantation last fall. It's an assisted living facility in Tallahassee.
Arrest papers say he stole jewelry from six residents - including some who had just died.
A coin dealer blew the whistle on the scheme after he says Thomas sold class rings dating back to the 20's and 30's.
Thomas entered a no contest plea Thursday and was sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by three years on probation. According to court records, the amount of restitution he owes the families has not yet been determined.
UPDATED 10.9.2012 by Julie Montanaro
A Tallahassee man is accused of stealing from folks at the assisted living facility where he worked.
Deputies say Kishsion Thomas is even accused of stealing from the rooms of residents who had just died.
He worked as a certified nursing assistant at St. Augustine Plantation.
Deputies say since August, Kishsion Thomas stole jewelry from six elderly residents, five of whom had just died.
"We believe that all the items and jewelry were coming from the residents' personal effects and they were being removed shortly after they passed away," said LCSO spokesman James McQuaig.
Thomas is now facing multiple felonies including grand theft and exploitation of the elderly.
He's accused of stealing nearly $3000 worth of jewelry from dressers, jewelry boxes and bathrooms at the assisted living facility and then selling it at Capitol Coin and Diamond.
Owner Dan Krick didn't think twice about the first few sales. "He brought in small gold earrings and small chains," Krick said, but when the 25 year old walked in with two class rings from the 1920's and 1930's, he knew something wasn't right.
"They were class rings from 1937 and 1927. You don't see class rings that old, that often and so we just got on the internet and found out ... they had a name inside of them," Krick said.
One of the class rings was from a nursing school in South Carolina and Krick was able to find a graduate with the same initials as those etched inside the ring.
Leon County deputies then tracked it to a 96 year old woman who still lives at St. Augustine Plantation.
Arrest papers say when Thomas was confronted, he admitted to stealing necklaces, rings, earrings and coins. Arrest papers say he divided up the jewelry into piles and told deputies who it belonged to.
The jewelry has been recovered, deputies say, and will be returned to the victims and their families.
"I think it means a lot to give it back to them. It's more for the family that gets it back especially after they just lost someone - or the situation they were in - to have some of their last memories. I'm glad to get it back for them," Krick said.
The St. Augustine Plantation administrator confirmed Thomas has been fired from his job at the assisted living facility, but would not comment on his arrest.
Thomas is being held on more than 30-thousand dollars bond.
UPDATED 10.09.2012 by Julie Montanaro
Leon County deputies say 25 year old Kishsion Thomas stole jewelry from six residents at the assisted living facility where he worked. Five of those residents were deceased.
Deputies say the thefts took place at the St. Augustine Plantation on Old St. Augustine Road.
The administrator there, Megan Griffin, confirmed Thomas worked there as a certified nursing assistant for the past few months and has been fired. The owner had no comment on Thomas's arrest.
The man who blew the whistle on the thefts was jeweler and coin dealer Dan Krick. Krick told us Thomas came in several times between the end of August and the begining of October to sell jewelry.
Krick says he got suspicious when Thomas brought in two class rings from the 1920's and 1930's. Krick says he jotted down the initials inside the rings and was able to go on line, find the high school and match the initials to names.
Krick reported his suspicions to deputies who ultimately arrested Thomas at his home on Sutor Road.
Deputies have recovered the jewelry and say it will be returned to the victims and their families.
"That's the most important thing to me," Krick said.
Thomas is accused of exploiting the elderly, grand theft and more. His bond is set at more than $30,000.
Leon County, FL - On October 02, 2012, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office received information from Dan Krick, an employee at Capital Coin and Diamond, that Kishsion Thomas, 25, had sold several pieces of jewelry to the business. Krick told detectives he felt the jewelry was possibly stolen. Krick said that Thomas worked at an assisted living facility in Leon County, which detectives were able to confirm.
Property Crimes Detectives were also able to confirm one victim living in the facility as well as five deceased persons who became victims of the jewelry thefts. Detectives also recovered the jewelry from Capital Coin and Diamond and arrested Thomas at his residence located at 993 Sutor Road. Thomas was interviewed and taken to the Leon County Jail.
Sheriff Larry Campbell stated, “This investigation highlights the success of good community partnerships. A local business owner who cared enough to get involved coupled with the staff and administration at the assisted living facility were extremely valuable during this investigation. We were fortunate to be able to recover the stolen property so it can be returned to the victims and their families.”