Officers found Michael J. Spence, 42, about 11 a.m. Wednesday hiding behind a dumpster in the parking lot of a motel in the 100 block of Shannon Drive in Nampa, Caldwell police report.
Nampa police assisted in the arrest, and as of Wednesday evening had also arrested Spence in connection with a similar “grab-and-run” theft at a jewelry store in Nampa’s Karcher Mall Tuesday evening, about 90 minutes after the Caldwell crime, Nampa Police Sgt. Tim Riha said.
Police described Spence, 42, as transient. He faces felony charges of grand theft and burglary for both crimes, police say.
He is suspected of stealing two rings valued at about $5,000 from Norman Jewelers, 213 South Kimball Ave., shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday, Caldwell Police Lt. Joey Hoadley said. A bald man with a pentagram tattoo on the back of his head reportedly grabbed the rings while being helped by a store employee, then ran out of the downtown store and got into a waiting red car driven by a woman, police said.
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Caldwell police circulated surveillance photos of the man and his head tattoo Tuesday evening on Facebook, generating numerous tips that led police to identify Spence as a suspect, Hoadley said.
Later Tuesday evening, at 6:38 p.m., a man matching the same general description, but wearing a hat and sporting full sleeve tattoos on both arms, looked at jewelry at Karcher Mall’s Tiffany Jewelry store with another man, skinny and possibly Hispanic. Both reportedly left the store. Police say Spence then returned, asked about buying a necklace with a cross pendant, then fled the store with it while the store clerk started to ring up the sale.
Spence allegedly ran through the mall’s parking lot to a dark red or maroon, older passenger car that took him away from the scene.
The necklace stolen in the Nampa theft was worth about $2,200. The value of the stolen Caldwell jewelry wasn’t immediately available.
Both Nampa and Caldwell police are looking for at least one other person connected to the jewelry thefts, and the investigations are continuing.
No weapon was reportedly displayed in either crime.
Online court records show Spence has numerous previous charges in Canyon County, including convictions for fraudulent possession of a bank card in 2014 and aiding and abetting burglary and unlawful entry in 2008.