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Authorities investigating mall jewelry heist

MANATEE — A reported jewelry heist at the Desoto Square Mall this morning was likely an inside job, authorities said this afternoon.

At 11 a.m. today, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested three people in connection with the theft of more than $30,000 in jewelry at Kay Jewelers inside the mall.

John Boselli, 26, Eric Rought, 21, and Justin McKinniss, 22 were being questioned this afternoon at the sheriff’s office and exact charges are pending, said sheriff’s spokesman Dave Bristow.

Prior to the theft, the sheriff’s office was tipped off that there would be a theft at the store involving the three suspects.

McKinniss is employed at Kay and shortly before 11:00 a.m., he reported a robbery had just occurred at the store, Bristow said. McKinniss, Bristow said, was actually involved in the heist.

As Boselli and Rought were leaving the mall with the stolen merchandise, deputies were waiting for them. They were arrested without incident and more than $30,000 worth of jewelry was recovered.

The mall is located across from the sheriff’s office on U.S. 301 Boulevard.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 747-3011, or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.