Accused thief: 'I didn't steal your hidden cameras'Posted: Updated:
The man caught on camera scoping out jewelry and carrying a stolen hidden camera said he is not a jewelry thief and did not take the Channel 4 I-Team's hidden cameras.
After three different women came to the Channel 4 I-Team with similar stories of how they noticed their jewelry missing after IGB Residential Cleaning Services cleaned their homes, we set up hidden cameras in an apartment and then hired IGB to clean it.
We also hid costume jewelry in drawers, boxes and in a closet, to see if anyone from the cleaning crew would inspect the jewelry. The other victims said none of their costume jewelry was taken, only the valuable items.
On Dec. 14, the owner of the company, Zach Jones, and his wife, Ithaca Black-Jones, showed up to clean the apartment.
When we returned to pay them, but they were gone, as were three of our hidden cameras.
One of the cameras that wasn't stolen showed Zach Jones searching for and examining our hidden jewelry. He even went into the closet to open and inspect a bag of jewelry.
Our video also captured him holding one of our hidden cameras and closely examining a vent where we had placed a hidden camera.
The Channel 4 I-Team then filed a theft report, and Metro Police repeatedly tried to serve a warrant to arrest Zach Jones but were unsuccessful.
After weeks on not finding Zach Jones, the Channel 4 I-Team went to the home he shared with his wife, Ithaca.
No one answered, and we then reached Ithaca by phone who agreed to come meet us later at the house.
Then, Zach Jones left the I-Team's chief investigative reporter Jeremy Finley a message.
"Jeremy, when you see this number pop up on your phone again, answer it. Answer it, and we can talk. I think it's going to be an interesting conversation," Zach Jones said in the message.
We quickly reached him by phone, and he agreed to an interview. Zach Jones started off by asking how Finley was doing.
"I'm doing OK. I'd like to have my cameras back," Finley said.
"And I'd like to have my attorney, but we can't always get what we want, can we?" Jones responded.
Jones quickly denied stealing anything from anyone, including the three women who said he stole jewelry from their homes.
One of the women, Aly Sands, said a diamond is among the jewelry missing from her house. Police told her the day after Jones cleaned her house, he pawned a diamond.
"She lied. That's the reason she never got her **** back. Because she lied. No one ever took that **** from her," Jones said.
Jones also said he didn't take our cameras, despite the video of him holding one of our missing cameras and scoping out the jewelry.
"That's what our cameras show, is you going through drawers, closets, looking at jewelry. You want to explain why you were doing that?" Finley asked.
"Any cleaning company, you are supposed to wipe down everything," Jones replied.
"You're not wiping down these surfaces, sir. You're looking at this jewelry," Finley pointed out.
"I don't steal," Jones said.
But Jones is a convicted thief, and we asked about his criminal past.
"That's like saying, 'Once a thief, always a thief?' That's a lie, sir," Jones said.
We also asked about how he and his wife left without being paid the day they came to clean our apartment and our cameras were stolen.
"There are some things, sir, that are just contributions," Jones said. "Everybody needs blessings, right?"
We also asked about the video of him looking closely at the vent where he had hidden one of our cameras.
"We have video of you, looking where one of the cameras were. Those cameras are gone, and you're saying you don't know where they are?" Finley asked.
"No sir," Jones said.
We also tracked down Ithaca Black-Jones by phone, who arranged the cleanings for the other victims and for the Channel 4 I-Team.
"I don't know anything about your cameras," Black-Jones said.
"You understand that looks a little suspicious. That you all have been accused of stealing jewelry, and we returned to the apartment and our cameras were gone," Finley said.
"I understand that sir. But I wasn't in the bedroom, so I don't know what was taken out of anybody's bedroom. Thank you," Black-Jones said before hanging up.
The former customers also blame LivingSocial, the popular online coupon service where they and 596 others got the deal for Jones' cleaning company. Jones has an easily found criminal background.
A spokeswoman for LivingSocial sent us a statement, reading in part, "Prior to working with any merchant we complete a thorough vetting process, which includes reviewing a merchant's online presence, researching online reviews and ratings, and checking public data sources to ensure potential partners are in good standing."
The Channel 4 I-Team asked specifically if they do criminal background checks, but the spokeswoman did not respond.
Zach Jones has not been arrested.
Copyright 2012 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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