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FBI net pulls in suspects in LO jewelry store heist

by:  Jack Cannon

The FBI's arrest of two men in Salem on July 19 has uncovered a nationwide jewelry theft organization that included Lake Oswego on its list of victims.

The ar-rest of Michael Young, 39, and Ernest Remor, 36, on July 19 in Salem was be-lieved by authorities to be a key to cracking a ring of diamond thieves who robbed nearly $1.5 million from 11 stores in Oregon, Florida, Nevada, California and Tennessee, from December 2010 to July 2011.

One of those stores was Kassab Jewelers in Lake Oswego on Jan. 3, 2011.

The criminal complaint filed by the FBI, just the day before the arrests of Young and Remor, stated that Jack Cannon, one of their associates, snatched $25,000 worth of diamonds and then escaped. He was allegedly aided by Young, who mapped out the theft ahead of time by taking digital photos of the interior of the store, and Victor Lupis, who kept Cannon (known to his partners as 'Damian') informed on whether he should walk or run as he left the store.

Later, the FBI complaint stated that Remor took the diamonds from the robbery to sell in Pennsylvania.

At the time the Lake Oswego Police Department released details about the method used in the Kassab robbery: A man distracted a sales clerk who was working in the store and asked to see jewelry from the display cases in the front of the store. When she went to get the jewelry, the suspect jumped over the counter and grabbed a box of diamonds from the inside of the open safe and ran from the store.

An LOPD spokesman stated, 'This person clearly knew what he was doing and what he was looking for.'

The FBI criminal complaint indicated that the method used in Lake Oswego was quite similar to that used in nine other robberies of jewelry stores across the country.

Cannon was arrested on June 2 in Portland as the suspect in the theft of a $255,000 diamond ring from Juniker Jewelry Co.

Following his arrest, Cannon was identified from a photographic lineup by a Kassabs employee as the bandit who robbed the Lake Oswego store.

With the arrests of Young and Remor, there are now five men behind bars as suspects in the long string of diamond robberies, including Cannon, Lupis and Trey Adams. The indictment of all five men came on July 19 in the U.S. District Court in Portland.

The FBI criminal complaint noted that the arrest of Lupis in North Carolina last March was crucial for breaking the case. After being confronted with evidence of his participation in the December robbery of $147,000 in diamonds from Margulis Jewelry in Portland, Lupis agreed to provide information on the other suspects in the jewelry store robberies.

Also listed in the complaint was a theft from a Zales Jewelry store in Troutdale on May 2 in which 'a suspect fitting the description of Jack Cannon' fled the store with two diamond rings valued at $22,000.

- Reporter Cliff Newell contributed to this story that was compiled from accounts by Pamplin Media Group, the FBI, Fox News and press releases.