Employee suspected in heist of $300,000 in jewelry, silver from Orono, Minn., home

- More than $300,000 worth of jewelry and silver were stolen from a home in Orono, Minnesota home on Oct. 18, according to a search warrant filed last week in Hennepin County.

The heist took place at a home on Shadywood Road between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Many of the items were stolen from a hidden room in the master bedroom.

The homeowners are a married couple who remain shaken, even angered, by the burglary. They declined an on-camera interview with Fox 9, but say the person behind the heist got away with items of sentimental value--mostly gifts from the husband to the wife.

The person believed to be responsible for the heist is a 49-year-old maintenance worker who recently indicated to the victims he needed to stop by to again measure the back door of the home he was scheduled to repair. 

The maintenance worker served the victims for two years and was among the few with an access code to the home.

The man also has extensive knowledge of the secret room in the master bedroom. The door to the hidden room is covered by a full-length mirror. Inside the hidden room is a cabinet that contains drawers of jewelry, which the worker had prior knowledge of because he recently repaired the door leading into the secret room, the homeowner told Fox 9.

The homeowner believes the heist began in the mudroom where a purse was dumped and used as the getaway bag.

Valuables were also stolen from a separate cabinet and a china hutch in different parts of the home.

Police spoke with the worker on the day of the burglary. He told them during the time of the crime, he was not at the home, but was working on a home in Plymouth. When asked who owned the home he worked on, the man declined to give police the name of the Plymouth homeowner.

Detectives are now looking into the worker’s cell phone records to verify his location on the day of the heist, however, it could be some time before Sprint releases his phone records.

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