• The suspect’s getaway car may be a Mazda SUV or station wagon, according to authorities.
    The suspect’s getaway car may be a Mazda SUV or station wagon, according to authorities.

Multi-state jewel thief at large after hitting area

An Oregon man described by authorities as a multistate jewel thief stole a $2,000 bracelet at a Blue Ridge jewelry store and tried to sell it at a jewelry store in East Ellijay last Saturday. 

Richard Laracuente, 55, of a Portland address, stole the bracelet “worth a couple thousand dollars, and came down here and tried to sell it,” East Ellijay Police Chief Larry Callahan said Thursday. “The Blue Ridge store had already called around and told everybody to be looking. When we get there to try to find the guy, he had got away, but come to find out, he’s wanted all over the southeast in at least 10 states with the same type (method).”

Laracuente is also wanted for jewelry thefts in Kentucky, Tennessee and Salem, Ore., according to news reports.

Officer Tommy Long reported going to the East Ellijay store at 2:11 p.m. on Saturday. He said three men were in the store, two talking with a sales clerk and the other on his cellphone. Long pointed at the two men to ask the clerk if it was them, and the man on the phone exited the store. 

The storeowner came into the showroom and advised Long the suspect was the man who left the store. Long said he looked for the man but he was “nowhere to be found. I looked around all other businesses and beside and under porches, but was unable to locate the subject.”

The storeowner gave Long an Oregon driver’s license the male had given him for identification to sell the bracelet with the name of Richard Laracuente. Gilmer Dispatch advised Long that Laracuente has “numerous warrants all across the (U.S) for theft.”

The owner gave Long a copy of a Georgia driver’s license the same man used last year with the name Robert James Allen. Long released a vehicle description to dispatchers, and the owner supplied a fingerprint the suspect used during a sale last year. Laracuente is charged in the Saturday incident in East Ellijay with theft by receiving stolen property valued at $500 or more.

Documents provided to the Times-Courier by East Ellijay Police from the Jeweler’s Security Alliance’s Facebook page show Laracuente is also wanted for a $12,000 “sneak theft” in Salem, Ore., on Feb. 6. A May 31 update on the Facebook page noted Laracuente “made the rounds in middle Tennessee.”

“He has a great story about being in from out of town working on a government road project ... says his name is Richard Myers,” an alliance member said on a Facebook update.

Laracuente did not answer a call to a phone number found for him, with a message that a “voice mailbox has not been set up.”

Times Courier

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1076
Ellijay, GA. 30540

Phone: 706-635-4313
Fax: 706-635-7006