NewsTeam 10 Investigates


North County family: Jeweler won't return our family heirlooms

Team 10 helps get answers
Posted at 4:43 AM, Nov 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-03 07:47:30-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A local family says they were fighting to get back thousands of dollars in family heirlooms. They only got answers, they say, after Team 10 stepped in. 

"It makes me sick. It's really emotional," said Jill Robertson of Escondido. We interviewed Jill with her son, Jon, and his girlfriend, Megan Gielczyk. Jill and Jon shared with us a few of the limited old pictures they could find of their family heirlooms.

She pointed to a photo of her late father wearing a ring. It was one of the pieces of sentimental jewelry that she said her family had given to local jeweler Mark Himmel to redesign. Jon said he was planning to use one of the rings to propose to his girlfriend but he added that the proposal and engagement were put on hold because Himmel hadn't returned their jewelry. 

Records verify that Himmel operates Sa-Ling Jewelry Imports Incorporated in San Diego. The Robertsons said it was Aug. 12 when they gave him a down payment to redesign thousands of dollars in family jewelry. They said they had expected to have the job completed in two to three weeks, but we met with them almost two and a half months after they wrote out a down payment check.

"There's evasion. He's constantly evading," said Jill. Jon's girlfriend, Megan, told us Himmel hung up the phone on her. 

San Diego police confirm they showed up to Himmel's home, where he operates his business, to try to get answers. However, no one came to the door. 

Two days after Team 10 left Himmel a voicemail, the Robertsons said they got a priority mail package with some of the heirlooms, but not all of them. They said there was no explanation for the wait time or behavior. 

It was early last week when Team 10 started making calls and leaving voicemails for Himmel. None of Team 10's calls were returned.

We made a second attempt to visit him in-person this Thursday and were successful. He told us he's sending out the remaining pair of earrings on Thursday and he will soon send a remaining gold nugget.

"It took two months this time because I handmade the ring," he told us.

He spoke to Team 10 later over the phone. He said he was responsive to the Robertsons about his slight delays. He sent us what he said was a screenshot of a text exchange from mid-September when he notified them that the job would likely take another three weeks and they thanked him.  

A representative with the California Franchise Tax Board notified Team 10 that Sa-Ling Jewelry Imports Inc. in San Diego was suspended on 07-03-2017 for unpaid liability with a current billable balance of $2,336.81. 

The Better Business Bureau verified that the Robertsons filed a complaint. The BBB reported to Team 10 that it's the first complaint against Sa-Ling Jewelry, which has been in business for many years.