There are watches, bracelets, and rings. There are heirlooms made of silver and gold. There are candlesticks and medals and tea sets.
The valuables, more than 50,000 items in all, were stolen from homes in the region and intended for resale at three stores on Jewelers Row, police say. Now, the recovered items are cataloged on a website, as police seek to reunite burglary victims with their stolen goods -- and potentially solve more cases.
"There are items ... that you look at and you suspect mean a lot to people, and are a part of their family heritage, their family heirlooms," Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said at a news conference Thursday in Lower Merion, where he stood in front of a table displaying many of the stolen valuables.
The unveiling of the website came about two months after the arrest of Wasim Shazad of East Norriton Township on charges that he knowingly purchased stolen jewelry from four burglars to fence through his three stores on Jewelers Row.
Detectives executed search warrants on Shazad's home and businesses, yielding thousands of pieces of jewelry and other valuables. That search required more than 30 hours of labor from specialized locksmiths to open "sophisticated European-style safes," said Lower Merion Police Superintendent Michael McGrath.
"We’ve got a lot of work left to do here in this case, and tracking the jewelry to the rightful owners will allow the victims to recover their property," Steele said.
Steele urged people in the region who have been the victims of a home burglary to look through the website for their valuables. If they find something belonging to them, Steele said, they can contact a Lower Merion detective assigned to the case. They must also provide detailed descriptions and the name of the police department that investigated the burglary when it occurred.
He also warned against false reports.
"If you report false information to the police, that’s called false reports to law enforcement and then you get charged for a crime," he said. "So we ask that anyone who is coming forward with information, get their ducks in a line."
Shazad, 48, was arrested in January and charged with corrupt organizations, dealing with proceeds of unlawful activity, and other crimes. He is free on $250,000 bail and is scheduled for arraignment in Montgomery County Court next month.
Shazad's lawyer, Steven Fairlie, said Thursday that his client maintains that he did not know that he was purchasing stolen items, which only counted for "a fraction of 1 percent" of the jewelry in his stores. Fairlie said police were overreaching by seizing every item in Shazad's store.
"I’m fielding calls from people that had their jewelry in there to be worked on and it’s gone," Fairlie said. "They just had him working on the jewelry and the police seized that."
Fairlie said he plans to file a petition in court to have Shazad's property returned to him.
Prosecutors allege in an affidavit filed in the case that they have evidence -- including surveillance, undercover operations, and reviews of financial records -- to backup their allegation that Shazad used his storefronts to fence stolen jewelry. Police said he frequently met and spoke by phone with members of the burglary ring.
Four men allegedly in that burglary ring -- Kebbie Ramseur, Jerrel Jaynes, Shron Linder, and Ralph Mayrant -- were charged in July and have been in custody since their arrests.
The men are charged in connection with 15 burglaries in Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Camden, and New Castle Counties. The victims lost valuables totaling more than $1.5 million, officials said.
Police believe that after more victims view the website and identify their possessions, more burglaries might be linked to these men.