GLENDALE — A 55-year-old Glendale man will have to pay a Glendale jewelry store $9,200 for a Rolex watch he allegedly stole or he will face jail time, officials said.
Gary Demirchyan pleaded no contest on Monday to a felony count of grand theft of personal property, but that was not part of a settlement negotiated with prosecutors, said Shiara Dávila-Morales, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
The watch, which was stolen last year from Classic Design Jewelry store in the Glendale Galleria, was never recovered, police said.
If Demirchyan pays the $9,200 restitution to Classic Design Jewelry, which is no longer in the mall, he will be placed on three years of formal probation, court officials said. Demirchyan will also receive credit for time served.
The restitution must be paid by May 3, when Demirchyan is scheduled to be sentenced in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Burbank.
If he doesn’t pay the cost of the watch before the court date, he faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison, Dávila-Morales said.
The jewelry store has fallen prey to other thefts in the past.
In January 2010, four masked men smashed several glass display cases overnight and stole at least $150,000 worth of high-priced jewelry.
“You work so hard ... with this economy,” said Peter Siow, the store’s owner, after the smash-and-grab last year. “It's wrong.”
Siow could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Demirchyan was arrested on Aug. 26 at his home after a tipster called detectives about recognizing him in a surveillance photo published in the Glendale News-Press, police said.
Surveillance video footage showed a man entering the store on Aug. 2 to ask about the Rolex Deep Sea watch, which prompted the store clerk to remove it from a glass display for a closer look, police said.
While looking at the watch, police said the man asked the clerk about making repairs to his high-end cell phone.
Police said the clerk then set the watch on a chair behind the counter and left the room, which is when the footage shows the man putting it in his back pocket before walking out.
Demirchyan told detectives that he was inside the jewelry store that day, but denied stealing the watch, police said.