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tv   2020  ABC  July 31, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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be sure to catch us again next week were another edition of "what would you do?." connect with us any time, like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. "20/20" starts right now. >> reporter: tonight on "20/20," diamonds aren't forever. from sunny florida to glitzy vegas to the rainy northwest, we're taking you inside "the robbery roadshow." 9 states, 25 stores and more than $4 million in hot ice. >> this was a case of a lifetime. >> if eyes could kill, i would've been dead right then. >> reporter: and our story starts here. mid-afternoon brings the usual hustle and bustle to portland's downtown district. but things are about to get very unusual. watch carefully. >> it's very vivid because it's burned into your memory. >> reporter: burned is exactly what jeweler david margulis got the day architect jason shaw entered his store. >> he was very clean-cut. he was wearing a nice shirt and
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tie and jacket. >> reporter: like we're dressed? with money in his pocket and engagement on his mind, the ring-shopping romeo puts the staff at ease. >> he then said, "may i compare the two rings and see them both together?" >> reporter: but in an instant, he changes the rules of engagement from a potential suitor to stone-cold crook. >> he turns on his heels and just jumps off the stairway, running out the door. and i took one look, and knew what was going on and ran right after him. >> a crime alert now about a thief dressed so well he took his victims by surprise. >> reporter: tonight we're taking you inside one of the country's most slick and daring robbery rings, a crew so meticulous they even had someone wiping prints off doorknobs. >> michael young cleaned your fingerprints off the door when you hit it going out. >> yeah. >> reporter: so hardcore they even tased themselves just to see what it felt like. >> to, quote, "become one with the taser." >> reporter: and so inventive the tricks of their trade included a golf shirt, a cute
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little chihuahua and a pair of wave runners. so, meet the bling ring. america's most successful diamond thieves with so much brass they'd flaunt their loot and locations online, even using cash for a cushion. turning on the charm to steal hearts and diamonds. you're kind of describing the doppelganger for brad pitt in "ocean's 11." >> it was almost like it was a tv show type, or a movie or something. >> reporter: tonight we're taking you back to you back to the scenes of the crimes. i wonder if you have anything to say to the people -- you'll see it all, every second of those hits and runs caught on tape. because if diamonds are a gang's best friend, cameras are a cop's. >> they needed to be stopped and we were the people to stop them. >> good evening. david is away tonight. a lot of young romantics want a
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big diamond, but so do jewel thieves. tonight, we're taking you inside one of america's most notorious bling rings. all the incredible tape of their crime sprees, caught in real time. but when will they be caught? once again, matt gutman. >> reporter: so what really went down at the margulies jewelry store in portland? cracking the case becomes the responsibility, and borderline obsession of veteran detectives eric mcdaniel and brian hughes. >> there's a digital signature in every one of these. >> reporter: starsky and hutch they ain't. mcdaniel drives a kia four door and hughes usually has his trigger finger on a computer mouse. >> i mean, we're talking property crimes here. they don't make a lot of news stories about property crime investigations. >> reporter: but make no mistake, these are straight shooting investigators. highly trained, highly motivated. arriving on-scene, to find a curious set of circumstances. >> we have a lot of police officers that work in our
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downtown core and for the person to get away that quick was unusual. >> reporter: property crimes around here usually involve someone looking to make a quick score for drug money. but detectives feel the tale of the tape says otherwise. >> we were under the impression by the way the fella carried himself, he wasn't local, he seemed like he was squared away and had a plan. >> reporter: and they have another hunch. they don't think he's working alone. >> there's got to be more than one guy. i mean, just from our experience there always is. >> reporter: let's rewind to show you what the police figured out, what the jeweler didn't realize at the time. the person must have known how to get away and must have had someone waiting for him to help him. >> that's correct. there was a team of fellas out here on the streets, looking out for him to do the theft. >> reporter: in this case, the suspect -- dubbed the runner -- has been provided all the tools needed to succeed. he's been told what to say, how to say it. even his identity is scripted. he's not jason shaw and he's not an architect. he's wearing clear glasses to
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alter his appearance and a fancy suit to appear successful. all of it provided by a man sitting outside orchestrating the entire event. he's called the risk reducer. he communicates through a disposable cell phone. >> he pre-planned everything to a point where the risks were reduced and the likelihood of them getting caught was zero. >> reporter: the second-in-command, also parked nearby, is called the hero stopper. >> the person that stops the hero is going to have some spray on him or something to try to incapacitate the good citizen trying to stop the thief. >> reporter: around the block waiting for his cue with the engine running is another guy. the getaway driver. getting into place. he's driving a white dodge minivan stolen specifically for the job. >> you steal a car, and it was never registered to you, there's nothing on paper showing you put money down for it, and that way you can just leave it. so there was a risk there but i think it was a smart one. >> reporter: when the runner makes his move and exits left,
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it's not a random choice. the risk reducer has mapped out every step of the escape route. that's the jewelry store right there. this is broadway. he hooks a left into the pacific center that has one very important feature. the runner ducks into a nearby office building called the pacific center because he doesn't want to be the center of attention. he comes barreling down these stairs, races across the tile -- and hits those revolving doors with a full head of steam. and that's this exit, through the building on southwest 6th street. now there was a minivan waiting they drive away, with $147,000 worth of diamonds. >> it was very successful. i do have to give the guys credit. >> reporter: but wait, there's more. the runner alerts the risk reducer of a mistake during the heist. he left fingerprints on the front door. and look at this -- true to his title, the risk reducer returns to the store during all the confusion and wipes the prints off the door.
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meanwhile, the getaway driver steers that dodge minivan south toward salem where is it is abandoned. everyone piles into a pick-up truck known as the wash vehicle. this truck is not a stolen vehicle and never been used in a crime, providing all inside with an added layer of protection. >> i think that they were very confident in their level of planning and their skills and abilities. >> reporter: but who are these guys? nobody seems to know. at this point the detectives are still playing catch-up. they get the word out to pawn shops in case anyone attempts to sell the rings. and they run down a host of dead ends. >> there were other tips that came in that i had to follow up on. they didn't seem promising. >> reporter: hughes and mcdaniel suspect this isn't the work of local crew. >> these kinds of crimes are not real common here in the portland metropolitan area. i had been a property crime investigator for some time and was familiar with the crime trends in oregon, and that was unique for this state. >> reporter: and whoever the so-called "jason shaw" really is, he hasn't stuck around to find out how the story ends.
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>> with all the cameras we had a very clear view of him. however it was a cold trail because he left the city. >> reporter: maybe, but it doesn't look like he and his crew went far. another robbery goes down about ten miles outside portland. >> it has happened again and again. it is caught on camera. a bold diamond theft, this one in oswego. >> reporter: this time, the runner is bundled up in hat and gloves with a warm heart for his girlfriend. >> he says his girlfriend loved one of the necklaces in the window. and asked to see it. >> reporter: as the salesperson goes to get that necklace, he turns his attention to a back safe. he's not just a runner -- but a high hurdler. hopping over the counter, swiping a total of five different diamonds and back out the front door. >> for a moment i was just stunned and i said to him, "no you don't!" >> reporter: oh yes, he does.
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still no arrests, only headaches. weeks pass, then one day the phone rings. it is a call that will turn this case and the lives of our two detectives upside down. >> we knew this is going to be something we're never going to get to experience again in our lives as far as an investigation. >> this was a case of a lifetime. >> reporter: coming up, a jailbird sings. but how does he know how the gang operates? >> it's pretty much a cakewalk. a monkey could do it. >> reporter: and detectives quickly learn there's not one, but a trail of robberies with the bling ring's signature moves. >> it does get real big. >> reporter: stay with us. and i'm diving into so much crab, so many ways. like crab lover's dream with luscious snow and king crab legs, and rich crab alfredo or this snow crab bake. who knew crab goes with everything? whoever put crab on this salmon, that's who. with flavors like these, i'm almost too excited to eat! hey i said almost.
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now, back to "20/20"'s diamonds aren't forever, with matt gutman. >> reporter: after months of frustration trying to put a name to this face, a crime stoppers' tip does just that for detectives eric mcdaniel and brian hughes.
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>> we got a tip from 3,000 miles away telling us, "i know who that is." and that's what started the case going. >> reporter: the two detectives fly all the way from portland to north carolina for a meeting with a sketchy suspect named victor lupis. it's a long shot. even if this is their guy, why would he roll over? but it's the only shot they've got. >> and even though it's the best thing for him to do to cooperate, that's not the natural reaction for a thief. >> reporter: of course. >> it's to shut down, deny, and that's exactly what he did. he denied ever being out here. >> reporter: but cops know differently. >> the key point for us is he tells us he's never been farther than the mississippi river, never been farther west. at the end of the day when we serve a warrant on his house and find receipts with his name on them and plane tickets to portland, oregon, i mean, it's not a lot, but you already have him caught in a lie. >> reporter: and that's how orange literally becomes the new black. lupis is arrested for the
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margules robbery. and this new orange jail suit replaces the black overcoat he wore the day he took those diamonds and ran. detective mcdaniel cleverly advises lupis of his very limited options. >> usually the guy that steps up first and is ready to change his life, it goes easier for him. but you still, you have to, you still have to have ownership. >> right, right, i understand that. >> reporter: caught between a rock and a hard place, lupis begins to tell all. first, he confesses to the portland robbery. >> she put them in my hands and i was looking at them, i ran out the front door. >> reporter: then he as a few more things to say. detectives are all ears as lupis begins to name names. >> yeah, that's michael young and that's ernie. >> ernie remor? >> yeah. >> reporter: and that is how detectives learn the identities of all those other smooth operators in portland. remember the so-called risk reducer who wiped the prints
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away at margulis jewelers? lupis i.d.s him as the ringleader michael young. >> i was freaking out because i hit the handle with my fingers on the way out. he took care of it and that he cleaned it. >> so michael young cleaned your fingerprints off the door when you hit it going out? >> yeah. >> reporter: who's michael young? an ex-con who rules with an iron fist. he implies he's part of a crime family, and threatens retaliation with those who dare to cross him. young was also a master manipulator who lured in new recruits like the pied piper. >> they were living in the nice houses with the bikes, cars, money. promising us the world. >> reporter: if michael young is the ceo, his right hand man ernest remor is his clo, chief larceny officer. the pair, both in their 30s, had tried and failed to steal diamonds before and spent some time in prison for their efforts. this time around, they've taken a more hands-off approach. >> one of their ideas is michael young and ernest remor are going to take themselves out
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of the actual active role of doing the thefts and stand back and pull the strings. >> reporter: that plan opened up entry level positions for younger guys like lupis. >> i think he was just living a little bit too much of the party life and wanted the quick money. >> reporter:nd others like trey adams. >> he can never bring himself to do the actual theft of the diamonds, but his big role was to steal cars, usually minivans, and be the getaway driver. >> reporter: and jack cannon. a runner extraordinaire and a man born to steal diamonds. >> we couldn't find one person in the world, let alone from his family that likes him, 'cause he's a manipulator and only cares about himself. matter of fact, there's a website dedicated to jack cannon about all the girls that hate him. >> reporter: one of the benefits promised to new recruits at "michael young inc." is a
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company guarantee. >> anything goes wrong, you know, you'll be taken care of, we'll bail you out, we'll take care of your family, we'll buy you a lawyer. >> reporter: but lupis finds out the hard way there's no honor among thieves. he's left to rot in jail. so lupis, feeling double-crossed, begins spinning a tale from "the usual suspects." all he's missing is kevin spacey's limp. it begins long ago and far from portland. lupis tells investigators the gang cut its teeth down in florida. >> i mean they ran through florida, i've heard millions of stories. >> reporter: in sarasota, at jeweler mccarver & moser, where michael young and company use a creative and cuddly technique. >> each one had its own signature. each one was kind of unique. >> reporter: in this case, a lovable chihuahua is brought in to steal the hearts of employees while the runner steals the diamonds. >> they named the dog roxy. and brought the dog in while they committed the theft, left the dog on the counter when they handled the rings and ran out of the store. leaving the dog behind.
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>> reporter: lou wilson found out the gang's bite is worse than its bark. the vero beach jeweler had been in the game for 40 years without ever being robbed. a streak that ended when jack cannon and trey adams darkened his door. >> i was expecting a customer in the store and my bell rang and two guys with ball caps and dark glasses were there. i said, uh-oh. >> reporter: his next utterance may have been, ah! >> trey had gone in first and came in with the taser and shot the old guy in the chest with the taser. >> the guy just pointed a stun gun at my chest and banged me and he banged me again. and a third time and your legs give out and your body quivers. >> reporter: the gang could feel wilson's pain. weeks earlier, they took turns shooting each other with the stun gun to see what it felt like. >> mr. young's term for practicing with the taser was to, quote, become one with the taser.
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>> reporter: that day in vero beach, cannon and adams snatch $100,000 in diamonds. but at least they're polite about it. >> they started out of the office and looked back at me and said, sorry man. i really need the money and it was kind of a bizarre thing to say. >> reporter: when the robbery roadshow comes to sanibel island, young choreographs his most daring getaway yet. there's only one way on and off this popular tourist destination and that's this three-mile-long causeway that connects to the mainland. no problem if you're on vacation. big problem if you just ripped off congress jewelers in the heart of town. >> what made this one unique was after stealing the diamonds, they had put enough thought into the caper where they believed that the toll booth and the bridge could be used as choke points by the police. >> so after cannon and trey adams steal a $190,000 ring in broad daylight, they do
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what any good pirate would do, they take to the sea. so the guys leave the wash vehicle, one that looks a lot like that one, and since they know they can't go over the bridge they've got to go under it. the mode of transportation? wave runner. the aquatic escape allows cannon and adams to disappear among a wave of tourists out on the water. they are both good and lucky. the guys are halfway to safety when something happens to the wave runners and they are left bobbing here in the bay. until they get some help from the most unlikely of sources. how did they pay for their rescue? with your tax dollars. >> we believe that part way across the channel there, that the jet skis broke down and that the united states coast guard helped tow them back to shore. >> reporter: by now the crew had
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amassed a total of nearly $2 million in stolen stones. but they were far from through, the lupis confession spans hours, spinning a tale of 1,001 heists. the cops better hurry. the teflon-slick diamond rustlers are bringing in their gunslinger jack cannon. >> if eyes could kill, i would've been dead right then. >> reporter: stay with us. introducing the samsung galaxy s6 active only from at&t. tested to withstand pretty much anything life throws your way. switch to at&t and get a $300 credit with eligible purchase and trade-in.
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across america, people are their type 2 diabetes... ...with non-insulin victoza. for a while, i took a pill to lower my blood sugar, but it didn't get me to my goal. so i asked my doctor about victoza. he said victoza works differently than pills, and comes in a pen. victoza is proven to lower blood sugar and a1c. it's taken once a day, any time. and the needle is thin. victoza is not for weight loss, but it may help you lose some weight. victoza is an injectable prescription medicine that may improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise. it is not recommended as the first medication to treat diabetes and should not be used in people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. victoza has not been studied with mealtime insulin. victoza is not insulin. do not take victoza if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you are allergic to victoza or any of its ingredients. symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include
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"20/20"'s diamonds aren't forever continues. once again, matt gutman.
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>> reporter: after a brief intermission, victor lupis returns to his interrogation room and continues to spill his stunning story of the life and crimes of the michael young bling ring. next stop, tampa florida, where a group of diamond grab and dashers is at it again. what was the biggest crime that you had worked on, in terms of the amount stolen? >> i believe close to $320,000 in just the two diamond rings. >> reporter: detective melinda rewis crosses paths with the crew after a local robbery here at king jewelers. the runner here has to escape the store and run through a mall. once again, jack cannon is up to running that gauntlet. dangerous and now suddenly dapper. >> he was dressed up in a suit and tie, he drew attention to himself in that the one that was able to identify him thought he was attractive. the veteran detective says cannon's look is altered thanks to michael young's girlfriend teri miller, who dyes cannon's hair blonde. you're kind of describing the doppelganger for brad pitt in ocean's 11. >> right.
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>> reporter: a guy in a snazzy suit, blonde hair, sunglasses -- >> yeah, it's completely set apart from all the other cases that i had experienced up to that point. >> reporter: sure, he may have the look, but today cannon's game is off. for starters, he's carrying a gun in his waistband. a departure for a gang that usually arms itself only with running shoes. then, when cannon asks to examine these two diamond rings, he weirds out the woman at the counter. >> she notices this guy is extremely nervous. and she says at that point, "no, i'm not going to give it to you." so she then sees the gun that's in his waistband. >> reporter: cannon's not leaving without the loot. he grabs for the ice. a struggle ensues. eventually he breaks free escaping with the diamonds. jack was nimble, jack was quick. jacked was sloppy. leaving a fingerprint. >> it was awesome. >> reporter: jack cannon right away? >> yeah, jack cannon right away. >> reporter: it isn't long
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before u.s. marshals raid cannon's house, stumbling upon the entire gang at a nearby home in central florida. all are interviewed, but only cannon is charged in the robbery. >> at that point, we had no idea that this was anywhere near the level that it was. and we didn't know what their involvement was. >> reporter: cannon makes bond and, surprise, surprise -- fails to show up for future court appearances. >> he had taken off, went across the country and continued to operate in the robbery pattern that he had done here. >> reporter: if you think getting arrested for armed robbery would change a man, you don't know jack. was he a dangerous guy? >> i'm not a psychologist or anything, but sociopathic is what instantly hit my head when i was talking to him. >> reporter: so, not just a loose cannon, but also had a screw loose? >> yeah. >> reporter: and just like that,
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they're gone. leaving florida on a cross-country crime spree which brings them, after four more capers, to portland and the robbery of margulis jewelers we told you about before. by now, victor lupis has joined them and is filling in for jack cannon as the runner. but it will be months before portland detectives mcdaniel and hughes will get the tip that leads them to lupis. and while they're scratching their heads, young and company hit that other oregon store and two more jewelers in california. then they start planning their biggest score yet. it's vegas, baby! and the staffers of michael young inc. trickle into town. teri miller arrives first, then jack cannon. they call victor lupis to join the party but he declines. he fears the group has become increasingly violent and with two kids to think of, he decides to go straight. >> i didn't want anything to do
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with them, you know, i was fine, you know, i was back working, and they were talking about, they were in las vegas and they kept trying to get me to come back to work with them. >> reporter: but michael young isn't about to let the lupis defection spoil the fun. his eyes remain on the prize -- a high profile shop called "the jewelers of las vegas" with a high profile tv ad. >> nevada's most trusted jeweler, your jeweler since 1976. >> reporter: but on this day, they find themselves catering to jack cannon. >> what's memorable about jack cannon is his demeanor and the way he talks to people, that's what people most remember about him. >> reporter: aaron lee is a vegas detective who says cannon should feel right at home in sin city. >> this was a classic con man. he did everything right to make people feel comfortable when he came in the store.
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>> reporter: cannon is shown here visiting the store a first time. weeks later, he's back with a wave, a smile, and nerves of steel. >> he was very well-dressed, very well-mannered and he came across like average joe citizen. >> reporter: six diamonds come out of the safe and arrive at the counter. cannon repeatedly wipes his hand on his sweater to keep it free of moisture. in this line of work, sticky fingers are needed, not sweaty fingers. and in an instant, half a million dollars in diamonds and jack cannon vanish out the door. it's detective lee's job to find him. >> at times as a detective, you have to put yourself in their shoes. and the greatest question that i found myself asking was if i were them and if i just made $500,000 in less than five seconds, why would i stop? >> reporter: lee gets a tip. >> i believe it was an insurance investigator, said hey, you may want to talk to arizona. they had something very similar. >> reporter: in scottsdale, arizona, just two days after the gang's vegas score, they are at
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it again. although the work is starting to suffer. watch closely. jack cannon is about to grab and dash but drops $146,000 in diamonds on the floor. somehow he thinks the best course of action is to go back and get them. he quickly scoops up both rings while she jumps the counter in a desperate attempt to catch a thief. for those of you keeping score it's now thieves -- $3.8 million, cops, nothing. >> in some of the video you've seen tonight, people are jumping over the counter. would you risk life and limb to go after the bad guys? let us know on facebook and twitter. use #abc2020. next, finally tying the bling ring together.
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>> i get a phone call. i think you may know some of these guys i'm dealing with. >> we take you to philly, still of brotherly love. where things aren't always so brotherly. >> i wonder if you want to say anything to the people -- >> are you stupid? >> next. wi noticed benny right away. , i just had to adopt him. he's older so he needs my help all day. when my back pain flared up we both felt it i took tylenol at first but
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"20/20" continues with diamonds aren't forever. here again, matt gutman. >> reporter: the cross country case of the michael young bling gang breaks wide open when portland detectives hughes and mcdaniel track down victor lupis
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and he starts singing like sinatra. they know the names, they know the faces but they don't know where they are. so detective hughes, whose expertise is computer tracking decides to see what breadcrumbs the crew has left on social media. >> i'm always amazed at what people put online. and whether you're a doctor, a police officer, or a criminal, it's all there for the world to see. >> reporter: hughes finds ringleader michael young and his posse living the high life. flossing, as the kids say, staying in first class hotels and rolling up in limos. >> the organizers of the group can be seen holding fistfuls of cash. there's actually one photo that actually shows mr. young using a stack of money as a pillow. >> reporter: that money is never tucked away for a rainy day. >> they're wearing very fancy designers clothes, expensive watches, designer jeans. >> reporter: the travel photos become significant as detectives begin to retrace the steps of the jewel thieves. >> as the case progressed and we learned more about where the suspects had committed diamond
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thefts, we were able to look on the social media sites and see some correlating photos from where the crimes had occurred. >> reporter: young and his number two, eric remor love motorcycles. but brand new is not good enough. they send them immediately for high-performance upgrades costing thousands more. they spend it as fast they make it. that's why they need to keep stealing. but those diamonds need to be turned into dollars. >> federal agents say that after each theft all of the diamonds and jewelry were sold in pennsylvania. >> reporter: but how do they turn the hot diamonds into hold benjamins? welcome to "jewelers row" in philadelphia. it's the oldest diamond district in america and home to more than 300 retailers. most of them honest. a few? not so much. after each caper, the muscle of the group ernest remor would hop on a plane and head here. not to a ritzy showroom, to this hole in the wall gold buyer
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where he fenced the diamonds. >> they found a shop in philadelphia that would play by their rules, so to speak, and taking their merchandise. >> reporter: what was the name of the shop? >> three gold brothers. >> reporter: this is "three gold brothers." and one of its employees is the tarnished eric janovsky seen here on his myspace profile page. he was buying the hot diamonds. for cold hard cash. we staked out "three gold brothers" just yesterday and when that chauffeured white rover pulls up. the welcome there is anything but golden. wonder if you have anything to say -- investigators believe hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of diamonds were fenced in this basement business. wonder if you have anything to say to the people whose diamonds were stolen. the rightful owners. >> want to get that camera off of me? >> reporter: this is a public street. >> i'm not the owner.
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>> reporter: so we found the owner. i'm matt gutman from abc news. wondering why stolen diamonds were bought and sold from this store? >> no comment. >> reporter: no comment and starting tomorrow, no business. three brothers ordered by the courts to close starting august 1st. >> reporter: and i guess they are not being paid in paypal. >> bricks of cash, bricks of cash. i mean, literally, bricks of cash. >> reporter: but what they did with that money violated the cardinal rule of criminality. they were flashy. they spent wildly. and on social media, these guys told the world about it. mob wannabe michael young should have taken a lesson from a real goodfella. young is suddenly having trouble keeping the troops in line. >> what's the matter with you? >> reporter: and now young has bigger trouble.
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the pieces to the puzzle are starting to come together for investigators. it took months of leg work but mcdaniel and hughes have compared similar crimes all over the country. from big cities to small towns they connected the dots and linked michael young and his minions to dozens of robberies. with one collective "eureka!" they realize they're all chasing the same gang. they're always one step behind. >> right. unfortunately we're not all linked up. >> i finally got ahold of a detective named eric mcdaniel in the portland police bureau. that was a great moment for me as a detective because he had one piece, i had the other piece. >> i get a phone call from a detective aaron lee in las vegas. and at that point, he says, i think you might know some guys that i'm dealing with up here and he tells me jack cannon. >> basically, everybody entrusted us with their case, to bundle it into ours, and make it
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one big one. >> reporter: and a federal case at that. which means now the fbi is involved. >> a huge resource for us to eliminate boundaries. >> reporter: now after dozens of robberies and millions in stolen diamonds, the final chapter of this real-life drama is about to play out. >> they needed to be stopped and we were the people to stop them. >> reporter: but to finally bring down the bling ring, detectives would first have to decipher some telltale and colorful clues. a bottle of red wine. an orange sweatshirt. and this black ink. >> it was quite a surprise. >> reporter: stay with us. this summer, challenge your preconceptions and experience a cadillac for yourself. ♪ take advantage of our summer offers. lease select cts models in stock the longest,
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"20/20" continues, with diamonds aren't forever. once again, matt gutman. >> reporter: bend, oregon. a small jewel of a city in the pacific northwest, and crime boss michael young is coming to town. today, he is "shopping" here at saxon fine jewelers. it's the gang's next target, and as usual, young is doing the advance work. >> basically, what they're doing is they're researching and talking to the weakest employee that they can identify. >> reporter: but this time the kingpin has miscalculated because he's about to meet a sharp eyed store manager named natasha henderson. >> he came in the store and i remember him. >> reporter: natasha henderson can tell a lot about a man from his jewelry. >> i knew he was from out of the area. he had this big, kind of flashy diamond watch. something more that you would see in like miami, not even in l.a. it's like miami, atlanta, that kind of area. >> reporter: young browses for a
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bit but makes no purchases. he's already got what he came for, information. he now knows natasha's name, how she acts, how she looks. >> in the middle of that, he got a phone call. and i believe that is when he took my picture. >> they usually go after a female, if they can, because they just believe that they're just the most vulnerable person to steal from. >> reporter: all of young's recon work will be passed along to jack cannon. when he drops by the store natasha is not in, so cannon leaves a business card and schedules an appointment. when he returns, cannon's attire is par for the course. >> we have a lot of golfers here. and he actually walked in, in golf attire. >> reporter: the story includes a prop, a celebratory bottle of wine. >> he wanted to have that bottle of wine for when his wife came in and, you know, where would we be viewing the diamonds? >> reporter: jack spins a story about an anniversary gift for
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his wife and how she will be joining them shortly to look at a few options. >> they brought props in and told a story and had props to match the story to put the clerk at ease. >> reporter: with everyone's guard down, gentleman jack makes his play. >> he kind of ushered me in front of him, which oftentimes, gentlemen do. and i had had the diamonds kind of tucked right here. and he reached over my shoulder, pulled on them, i pulled back and we kind of struggled. and i kind of realized what was happening. >> reporter: as usual, the last thing the victim sees is jack cannon diving into a dodge minivan with their diamonds. in this case, $150,000 worth. >> i mean, the fbi said it over and over again. they were hot on their tail. but they just couldn't quite get there. >> reporter: but it is here in oregon that investigators catch enough clues to tighten the noose. first, that bottle of wine. >> they found a fingerprint on
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the wine bottle. that's where he went wrong. >> reporter: it's got jack cannon's fingerprints on it and this time, there's no "risk reducer" to wipe them off. investigators dig for more. >> jack cannon walked into a grocery store. we actually have surveillance photos of mr. cannon walking out of that store with that bottle of wine in hand. >> reporter: the photo highlights cannon's love of tattoos. he's a walking canvas of ink-stained anger featuring flames and a death cross. >> in this case, mr. cannon walked into the store wearing a short-sleeve shirt and his tattoos are plainly obvious. >> reporter: this case marks the first time cannon's misstep will impact his cohorts. remember that business card he left behind? the number on the card is for a prepaid cell phone purchased here a few weeks earlier. >> the phones had been shipped to a small grocery chain that only operates two locations here in ogon. >> reporter: detectives review
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the store's footage. >> i have screen captures from that surveillance footage that show a particular individual buying those throwaway phones. >> reporter: hughes, who has spent the better part of a year curating social media images of the gang, recognizes the man in stantly. >> the person that bought the phones at the stores is ernest remor. when he's purchasing the phones, he's wearing a unique orange colored hooded sweatshirt. >> reporter: the photo is significant not just for who is wearing it, but where he's wearing it. >> that was in a photo taken of him on the santiam pass which is a scenic area where the theft was. >> reporter: so cannon is linked to remor and now remor will be linked to michael young. >> and at that time ernest remor and his partner michael young were living together in the same house. >> reporter: search warrants are obtained. and a visit is paid to a quiet cul-de-sac in salem, oregon. >> a nationwide jewelry theft
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ring has been busted. >> reporter: it's taken a few years but detectives hughes and mcdaniel finally meet up with the master criminal michael young. >> i would talk to him and say, "you can't sell your stuff to me like you sell to everybody else. you can't manipulate me, you know. we got your number. and you could tell you're hitting it right on 'cause it was getting him frustrated 'cause he knew we knew. >> we located that same orange sweat shirt. >> reporter: in the end, it was social media spotlighting antisocial behavior that caused michael young inc. to be put out of business. >> greed. i mean, that's what got them was greed. if they would have just stuck to the plan but not showed the money off publically, we might still be trying to figure out who they are right now. >> reporter: the final tally is staggering. 27 robberies, 62 rings, $4,069,430 in diamonds. but now it's payback time.
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ringleader is sentenced to 9 1/2 years in prison. ernest remor received a 10-year sentence. getaway driver trey adams got away with a seven-year sentence. victor lupis served 22 months and has since been released. the philly fence eric janovsky is serving 7 1/2 months in prison and diamonds were not jack cannon's best friend. he's doing a 30-year stretch for the armed robbery. for jewelers all over the country, the case marks the end of a long ordeal. but will they change the way they do business? >> yes. they are concerned at all times and overly alert. >> reporter: before we interviewed david margulis, we decided to run a little test. i'm going to pose as someone who is hoping to buy his fiancee a beautiful, big wedding ring. i will show them my florida id and, of course, i'll have to take this thing off, as someone who is not yet married. i meet with a salesperson who is very nice and very businesslike. >> can i see your driver's
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license, if that's okay? >> reporter: okay. she asks a few questions. >> is your bride-to-be here in portland? >> reporter: no. when i ask to compare one diamond against another, i am rebuffed. can i measure that against the other one? >> can only have one out at a time, yeah. i can only have one out at a time. >> reporter: my request sets off a chain reaction. the lone security guard at the door guard discreetly calls for backup and suddenly two men are now near the exit. there would be no grab and dash today. the store passes the test with flying colors. that tightened security, those hyper-vigilant salespeople may prevent the next "runner." but the memory of the first lingers on. >> it was beyond disturbing.
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nationwide than t-mobile or sprint. that's a whote lotta network for not a lot a dough. it's what makes cricket the happiest place in the whole wireless world. that's our program for tonight. thank you for watching. i'm elizabeth vargas. for david and all of us, have a great night and a good weekend.
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tonight the first person killed battling the flames burning in california. >> next, how it happened and an update from the fire

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