SAN DIEGO - A Point Loma woman was frustrated when she found her stolen jewelry online and claims neither the San Diego Police Department nor eBay was doing anything to catch the crook.
Sarah Endemann called 10News several days after the theft to tell her story.
"Last week my husband had picked up my birthday present from Tiffany's… and he just stuck it in his golf bag in his trunk," she explained.
That jewelry was a pair of lapis cabochon stud earrings from Tiffany & Co. and a matching bracelet. He paid more than $1,000 for the set.
"Not that I'm nosy, but I think that he was hiding them from me in his golf bag," she told 10News reporter Allison Ash.
Several days later, both the Endemann's cars were broken into right in front of their Point Loma home. They reported it to San Diego police and their insurance company.
Endemann could not let it go.
"I logged on to eBay and just did a little search for Tiffany lapis and sure enough, the bracelet came up… and then I went to the seller's storefront and saw they had another item for sale and it was the earrings," she said.
She e-mailed a link to the posting to her husband, Buck, who was at work. One of his coworkers noticed that his name was on the bottom of one of the receipts pictured on eBay.
"It was such a crazy feeling to see your name, your husband's name and your belongings for sale on eBay," Endemann said, shaking her head.
She then called San Diego police.
"I was told by the first person I spoke to that there was nothing they could do, that the law hadn't caught up with the Internet yet, which is kind of crazy since the Internet and eBay have been around for a long time," she said.
She also claims it was suggested that she purchase the stolen jewelry online, then call police after she went to the house to get her stuff back. The mother of two children under the age of 3 did not think that was safe.
When Endemann contacted eBay, she claims they said they could not have the items removed from auction without authorization from police.
She went back online.
"And shamed eBay on Facebook, and finally got a PR person in touch with me to expedite the case, but I don't really think you should have to do that," she said. "I feel like if eBay's having this storefront it's their responsibility to have enough resources to handle the volume of stolen merchandise reports."
10News contacted eBay and received this written statement:
This is an ongoing investigation, therefore eBay cannot comment on the specifics.
eBay prohibits the sale of all stolen goods on the eBay site. We have zero tolerance for anyone who violates this policy and take appropriate action to restrict this activity, including partnering with law enforcement agencies. More information can be found here:http://pages.ebay.com/securitycenter/LawEnforcementCenter.html
Endemann contacted both 10News and her city councilman, Kevin Faulconer. In no time, she was working with a detective who was trying to solve her case. Police have since located the person who was trying to sell the items and tell 10News an arrest is imminent.
Lt. Kevin Mayer said a paperwork snafu and the volunteer who answered Endemann's call may be to blame for the delay in getting action on her case.
"If you ever feel you're not getting service from anyone at the San Diego Police Department, you should call a supervisor," Mayer told 10News.
Endemann was delighted to learn her case was solved so quickly. She had this advice for other people who have their belongings stolen: "Just don't ever underestimate how stupid people can be. You know if something's stolen from you, go ahead and look for it on eBay, look for it on Craigslist, because you might find it."