Jonathan Hunley, 52, of Newport was arrested in Hiouchi, California Aug. 16 and extradited to Oregon to face two charges of first-degree aggravated theft. He is being charged with the theft of a diamond from Harbrook Jewelers and a similar theft of a diamond ring from Fred Meyer, both in Brookings.
Hunley is alleged to have run out of the door from Harbrook’s Aug. 14 with a 1.25 carat diamond valued at $20,000.
Deputies received video of the male suspect in Harbrook Jewelers looking at the diamond and then running out of the store with it. The video provided a good representation and description of the suspect.
A detective with the Brookings Police Department located a silver BMW parked at a campsite in Clifford Kamph Park matching a vehicle involved in the theft from Fred Meyer. The same car was used at Harbrook’s. The Fred Meyer theft occurred about a week before the Harbrook incident, and the ring was recovered from a pawn shop in Crescent City.
Curry County Sheriff’s deputies assisted by the Brookings Police Department and the Del Norte Sheriff’s Office contacted the female registered owner of the car and then located the male suspect who fit the description they were looking for.
The female was identified as 62 year-old Brenda Elliott of Eureka, California, and the male was identified as Hunley.
Both Elliott and Hunley denied any involvement and gave consent to search their tent, but no evidence was found in the tent. They denied consent to search the car. The Del Norte Sheriff’s Office then applied for a search warrant.
While waiting for the search warrant authorization, Hunley, who was not detained, left on foot. Once the search warrant was authorized, a search of the car revealed a large quantity of heroin.
Elliot and Hunley were later located at the motel in Hiouchi. Hunley was arrested on local charges out of California and booked into the Del Norte County Jail before being extradited to Oregon.
The diamond stolen from Harbrook Jewelers has not been recovered.