San Luis Obispo jewelry store operator arrested in ring-theft case

William Roger McBurney, 56, was arrested Tuesday, June 29, 2010, on suspicion of receiving stolen property. Original story »
William Roger McBurney, 56, was arrested Tuesday, June 29, 2010, on suspicion of receiving stolen property. Original story »

A San Luis Obispo jewelry store operator was arrested for allegedly receiving stolen property during an investigation linked to the springtime theft of a $25,000 diamond ring from a vehicle in Atascadero.

Atascadero and San Luis Obispo police detectives investigated the All That Glitters jewelry store at 209 Madonna Road over the past several months. Detectives found that William Roger McBurney, 56, had allegedly received stolen property while at the business.

McBurney told The Tribune on Thursday that the allegations against him are separate from the store and are unfounded, adding that “it is all coming out in court, and I am looking into taking legal action.”

He did not disclose when or against whom such action would be filed.

Meanwhile, detectives uncovered “compelling evidence” that supports McBurney knew the ring was stolen and lied to officers during the investigation, Atascadero police Cmdr. Steve Gesell said.

McBurney said he’s not the owner of the business, but that the shop operates under SLO Dreams Inc. His son, Travis McBurney, is president, and All That Glitters’ website states that it is a family-owned store. The business license was filed in 1992, according to the city.

Travis McBurney has not been arrested or charged with any wrongdoing.

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office has charged William Roger McBurney with two counts of receiving stolen property, a felony; delaying an officer in the performance of their duties, a misdemeanor; and conducting secondhand business without a license, also a misdemeanor.

McBurney was arrested Tuesday and is now out of County Jail after posting $50,000 bail.

Information on the second count of stolen property has not been made available, but San Luis Obispo police allege they found another piece of suspicious jewelry during their investigation of McBurney.

The first count relates to a March arrest, when Atascadero residents Bryan Nothstein and Eugene Kriewitz, both 20, were linked to the stolen diamond ring. The men disclosed to police that they later sold the stolen ring to All That Glitters, police said, which prompted an investigation into the store.

A search warrant was obtained and served at the business April 29, and the ring was recovered from a cabinet.

McBurney said Thursday that the ring was not for sale.

Nothstein and Kriewitz recently pled no contest in court, Gesell said. Kriewitz pleaded to grand theft and Nothstein to receiving stolen property. Both were sentenced to 90 days in County Jail and three years probation, he added.

Pawnshops and secondhand operations are legal when licensed, police said, and allow for police oversight in transactions when items are suspected of being stolen.