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Police Arrest Man Suspected Of 3 San Francisco Jewelry Heists

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- San Francisco police say they've nabbed a serial burglar.

The suspect is a transient man accused of stealing nearly $250,000 worth of jewelry from the Stonestown Galleria shopping mall over the course of three different burglaries.

According to SFPD, the haul after two burglaries at Macy's for suspect Toby Kessler, 32, was substantial. He allegedly made off with $3,000 in cash and $80,000 worth of jewelry. That translates into armfuls of watches and row after row of diamond earrings.

Those burglaries happened on January 23 and February 11.

"The first two burglaries were after hour, said San Francisco police Officer Grace Gatpandan. "So, at that point you are kind of chasing the bread crumbs and trying to see where he committed the burglary, how he fled the scene."

SFPD says Kessler, armed with burglary tools, cleaned out cases after casing the joint.

"Suspects, as anyone does, tend to scope out the area where they are trying to burglarize beforehand," Officer Gatpandan said.

18-031 Toby Kessler
Toby Kessler (Photo: SFPD)

On February 16, detectives say Kessler entered the store around 10 p.m. when staffers were still cleaning up. Employees contacted police immediately.

"If it's something the individual has done in the past, that might prompt them to be a little more bold in their future endeavors," said Gatpandan.

This time, as the suspect was leaving the scene of the third heist at the Stonestown Galleria and following a brief police chase, police detained Kessler with his sparkling haul of $150,000 worth of jewelry.

Officers say they had evidence to link him to the two previous burglaries as well.

Kessler was booked into San Francisco County Jail on charges of burglary, grand theft, possession of burglary tools and possession of stolen property.

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