Five accused of stealing expensive jewellery in broad daylight Colchester car park distraction theft

Chelmsford Crown Court in Essex
-Credit: (Image: PA Archive/PA Images)


Five people have been charged after expensive jewellery was stolen from a woman's car in Colchester. Essex Police were alerted to the incident which took place in Vineyard car park shortly after 3pm on Friday (June 21).

A woman was carrying a bag with expensive jewellery as she returned to her car. She was met by a group of people, some of whom distracted her and nearby members of the public.

When the group left the car park, the victim realised a bag was missing from her car. She began to run after one member of the one group, who was detained with the assistance of other members of the public.

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Police were called and an investigation was launched. Soon after, a vehicle of interest was stopped on the southbound A12 near to Chelmsford.

Despite accounts given by the occupants, officers opted to search the vehicle which resulted in a number of significant items, including high value jewellery, being located. All four people were arrested and the jewellery has now been returned to the owner.

Five people have been charged with theft from a motor vehicle. They will appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday June (24). They are:

  • Victor Chavez Gutierrez, 37, of Stroud Green Road, London, N4;

  • Jhon Brayan Alvarez Quiroga, 25, of no fixed address;

  • Martha Gutierrez, 44, of no fixed address;

  • Catherine Olarte-Avendano, 37, of Montagu Road, London, N18;

  • Gallardo Guillermo, 69, of no fixed address.

Detective Sergeant Richard Vince, of Colchester CID, said: "First and foremost, to be able to return goods to an owner is always a pleasure and in this case, they are clearly of sentimental value. I hope the police work from across the force in this case shows our determination to protect our public and ultimately secure arrests and put people before the courts.

"We know incidents of theft, as in this case, can really impact upon victims and when we are alerted to incidents such as this in progress, we will always do all we can to protect people, make arrests and ultimately seek outcomes alongside our CPS colleagues. And to the people who stepped in to help this victim in Vineyard car park, your tenacity and willingness to do the right thing is appreciated by every officer involved in this investigation."

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