$100,000 in jewels stolen from Jeanne Jones
by Neal Putnam
Published - 11/22/13 - 03:30 PM | 2788 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Dec. 3 preliminary hearing has been set for an accused burglar who allegedly broke into the La Jolla home of cookbook author Jeanne Jones and took jewelry worth more than $100,000 on Oct. 5.

This marks the third time Jones’ home has been burglarized by jewel thieves. Four people are serving long prison terms for a 2011 incident. A former housekeeper’s boyfriend was convicted in an earlier theft.

Jones’ video surveillance cameras were disconnected by the suspects and the recording device was stolen on Oct. 5. Police tested the cables for DNA evidence and a match was made to Leon Powell, Jr., 27, of Inglewood, according to court records.

Powell has been charged with burglary, grand theft and attempting to dissuade Jones, a witness from reporting a crime. Two burglars broke into her bedroom while she was sleeping around midnight. She pretended to be asleep, but grabbed a cell phone and called 911.

One burglar noticed she had a cell phone and grabbed it out of her hands and threw it. Both burglars then fled, dropping jewels and other items on their way out, according to court records.

Jones’ husband was visiting a sick friend in San Jose and Jones, who is in her 70s, was home alone that night. All her doors were locked, including one to her bedroom, but the thieves were able to get inside.

The thieves took a remote key and opened up one garage door and the driveway gate, dropping the remote key behind them. Jones was unable to identify Powell in a photo lineup, court records say.

Powell has pleaded not guilty and remains free on $250,000 bond. He reportedly has no previous association with Jones.
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