Police suspicious of Everett man in stolen gems case

EVERETT — Detectives haven’t yet found the $100,000 worth of diamonds, rubies and sapphires that disappeared Jan. 17 from a gem dealer’s car, but the trail of clues led them to a north Everett trailer court and an ex con they suspect last had the loot.

Eddie Allen Sheldon is said to have spent 34 years in prison. When confronted by officers last week, the 55-year-old had a Bowie knife in a sheath on his belt, a weapon he reportedly referred to as his near-constant companion.

Sheldon was booked Thursday for investigation of first-degree robbery. Police believe he is the trench coat-wearing man who took the gems by force from those who initially stole them.

A search of Sheldon’s home didn’t turn up the jewels, but he allegedly told detectives “I could get rid of them. I could if I wanted to.”

The jewelry belongs to a 79-year-old gem dealer from Oregon. He had the items inside his rental car when it was stolen outside an Everett hotel two months ago.

When the thieves tried to sell the loot they wound up meeting Sheldon, Mountlake Terrace police wrote in a probable cause affidavit filed in Everett District Court.

Sheldon and others allegedly showed up at the Mountlake Terrace motel room occupied by a woman, her 18-year-old son and the gems.

One man had a knife, another a hatchet. A lasting impression was made by the bald guy in a trench coat. He reportedly was missing a few front teeth and claimed to be a “Peckerwood,” a member of a white-power prison gang.

The woman told police she surrendered the gems after she and her son were threatened with being stabbed, hacked, raped and killed.

Before the assailants left, they told her to keep quiet and took her computer and drivers license so they could track her down, she said.

A break in the case came when somebody pawned a ruby that was part of the stolen loot. Detectives followed leads.

Last month they arrested the person suspected of stealing the car with the gems inside and also one of the men who admitted to later demanding the thieves surrender the gems to him.

The identity of the man witnesses called the “Peckerwood” eluded detectives until they got a tip, according to court papers.

The woman who was robbed at the motel identified him when shown a photo montage on Wednesday.

Sheldon didn’t resist when police showed up at the trailer he lives in off North Broadway. He agreed to speak with detectives. He said he’d seen some of the gems and that he’d gone as “back up” to the Mountlake Terrace motel. He denied any violence or weapons involved, although he was sporting the big knife on his hip.

Before being taken to jail, Sheldon reportedly said that he always carries his knife except when going to visit people at their homes or when his grandkids drop by.

He told detectives that he figured his next stop would be prison and “I probably won’t ever get out.”

In court papers, detectives said they received a tip that Sheldon “is the last person who had the gems and is sitting on $100,000 worth of gems.”

Scott North: 425-339-3431; north@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snorthnews

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